A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that We Belong Together falls into the romantic-partner-as-stalker-killer category. A man who has recently earned enough of his ex-wife's trust to allow unsupervised visits with their child somehow decides it's okay to have an affair with his oddly aggressive student. It soon appears that a psycho killer is on the loose, threatening everyone the man holds dear. A woman is reported to have killed in her past. A woman is beaten, choked, and tossed over a staircase to her death. A car's brakes are sabotaged, resulting in a bad accident. Someone beats up an invalid in a wheelchair. A child is kidnapped and found tied up and gagged. A man is tied up before having sex and alcohol is forced down his throat. A car nearly hits a pedestrian. It's reported that a child died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Alcoholism plays a role in the plot.
What's the story?
WE BELONG TOGETHER has a sinister undertone from the start, so when college professor Thomas (Charles Malik Whitfield), a grieving father recovering from a divorce and alcoholism, is stalked by Tracy (Draya Michele), a beautiful but oddly forward student, alarm bells ought to go off. Having recently gone through a divorce from Megan (Elise Neal), a woman he still loves, Thomas has achieved six months of sobriety, and earned the right to unsupervised visits with his young daughter. Despite this, he protests Tracy's advances only mildly, then proceeds with the ill-advised affair. Thomas' AA sponsor warns him away, but Thomas makes one bad decision after another. Quickly, Tracy becomes unreasonably possessive, even threatening, forcing the recovering alcoholic to drink, insisting on meeting his young daughter far too soon into a new relationship, and stalking his ex-wife. Bad things start happening to people in Thomas' life -- a valued assistant is thrown off a staircase to her death. A woman receives brain injuries in a suspicious car accident. The police finally start looking for the right suspect but it doesn't look like justice will be done.
Is it any good?
This movie is a simplistic, paint-by-numbers, badly-written, knock-off of other romance-turned horror stories. Imagine Fatal Attraction minus the character development or Body Heat without any discernible motive for malfeasance. When this outright evil, mentally-unstable, murdering, mental asylum escapee seduces her college professor, tries to kill his wife, and kidnaps his daughter, the movie provides no answer to the question: Why? By the end of We Belong Together, we learn of other criminal acts perpetrated by the villain, but at least those crimes involved people she knew well, leaving to the imagination the possibility that she might have developed reasons over time to do her worst.
In contrast, she knows the randomly selected Thomas and his family for all of five minutes, not much time to develop murderous urges. That's why the film feels like little more than a series of plot points (with some sex thrown in) carried out by talented but hamstrung actors. Equally frustrating are the unbelievably bad decisions being made over and over by a supposedly intelligent man who has many compelling reasons -- legal and personal -- to act otherwise. And just wondering -- how is someone freshly escaped from jail driving a late model BMW? In keeping with the lack of development and dramatic arc throughout the rest of the film, the ending is abrupt and unsettling, leaving room for, heaven forbid, a sequel. Note that the actress playing Thomas' ex-wife, Elise Neal, is only six years younger than the actress playing the ex-wife's mother, Valarie Pettiford.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how parents cope with the death of a child. What often happens to the marriage of a couple whose child dies? Why?
How does We Belong Together explain Thomas' drinking? Do you think he would risk losing his child by drinking again?
What does the movie say about the possible relation between mental illness and violent crime?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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