Well, they can’t all be good, right? It’s unfortunate however when you see a trailer or even get involved in a storyline that has so much potential but falls flat. Enter Greta. This movie follows recently motherless Frances (played by Chloe Grace Moretz, Carrie remake, Let The Right One In, If I Stay, Inside Out) who accidentally finds a purse left on the subway train and tries to do the honest thing by checking for an ID and returning it to the owner. One does wonder however right off the bat why the character has so much stake in returning it directly to the owner, instead of simply turning it over to the police. Perhaps it’s due to the one-liner in the movie that mentions Frances is from a place where that’s “just what they do”, as opposed to the many who would take the money and run when living in an overpopulated NY city. These one-liners become a common theme for the movie and the little character development that is made throughout.
Upon arrival, Frances encounters, what appears on the surface to be, a sweet, lonely widow named Greta (played by French actor Isabelle Huppert). Once the two have exchanged a few cheesy lines and shared a meal or two the story is off running when Frances stumbles upon a cupboard full of identical purses to the one she found with sticky notes of women’s names attached, including hers. Rightfully so, she is creeped out and attempts to cut off all communication. Once she begins to distance herself from Greta, the story turns, and we finally think there may be a glimmer of hope to the painfully acted script. Greta then rides a fine line of simulating a cross between Glen Close in fatal attraction and Jennifer Jason Leigh in Single White Female, showing up at Frances’ workplace and causing a scene, harassing her by simply standing across the street from her window all day staring at her, going after her best friend in a club, and even calling her home non-stop and blowing up her cell phone. All of this, however, is something already played out in the trailers available for the movie and was to be expected. Frances becomes frightened and unnerved with the now-stalker motives and decides she needs to get out of town for a while. The story unfolds from here and there are small but predictable turns for the most part, and we again receive a few one-liners, to fill context, as to who Greta is and what she is about to do. It is nice to see a small part played by Stephen Rea (The Crying Game), as a detective who is hired by Frances’ father when she appears to be missing. The final punch of the movie isn’t horrible, but could have been presented better, and has definitely been done before. While there are a few twists and turns that will surprise you, chances are you will find yourself thinking “Ok… so… run!!” or “now is not the time for a sombre moment, get out of there!” but alas, the story will just keep chugging along until the credits roll and you’re left to wonder why a story with such potential just unfolded badly before your eyes.