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Film / The Last Seduction

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"Anyone check you for a heartbeat recently?"
Frank Griffith

A 1994 neo-Noir film directed by John Dahl, The Last Seduction stars Linda Fiorentino, Peter Berg, and Bill Pullman. It’s perhaps best known for being disqualified from Academy Award consideration that year due to airing on HBO just before it premiered in theaters.

Bridget Gregory (Fiorentino) is the manager of a direct marketing call center in New York City; she is also married to Clay (Pullman), a medical student. Clay is so smitten with her that, at her suggestion, he illegally sells pharmaceutical painkillers for a bag of cash. Then Clay makes a big mistake; in the emotional aftermath of his first crime, he slaps Bridget. She coolly steals the cash and leaves town. Stopping in a small upstate town for a drink, she meets Mike Swale (Berg), a divorced man who immediately falls for her. When Clay sends goons to track down his wife and stolen cash, Bridget decides to use Mike in an elaborate scheme to get her past off her back.

This film features examples of:

  • A Deadly Affair: Subverted. While Bridget is sleeping with Mike to ultimately twist him into unwittingly murdering her husband, Mike is never an equal partner in the scheme and has no idea the man Bridget is trying to get him to kill is Bridget's husband until Clay shows him their wedding photo.
  • Affably Evil: Bridget can convincingly alternate between being be sweet, wounded, domineering, or seductive based on what she needs from whoever she's talking to.
  • All Guys Want Cheerleaders: A deleted scene has Bridget dressing up as a cheerleader for Mike.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Inverted. While Bridget's foul mouth and demeanor lead Mike's drinking buddies to consider Bridget simply "city trash," that, and the fact that she looks like she's going places far beyond Beston are what draw Mike to Bridget like a moth to a flame. As she strips off her mask further and further, and her exploits get more and more criminal, he's too enamored with her to flee.
  • Amoral Attorney: Bridget's lawyer, played by J. T. Walsh. He knows exactly who she is, and isn't bothered by it in the slightest, but in fairness, she really doesn't ask him to do anything that is personally immoral to him, nor ask him to perform an immoral act for her. But since he mentions Clay is also calling him trying to get Bridget's location, it's possible he's a joint attorney between the couple, and that Frank has chosen to side with Bridget.
    Frank Griffith: "Look, maybe he won't stall. Can he afford a good lawyer?"
    Bridget Gregory "Not anymore."
    Frank Griffith "How silly of me to ask."
  • And Starring: Bill Pullman.
  • Asshole Victim: Clay's abusiveness moves most viewers to root for least a little. Bridget also uses this justification to draw Mike further into her scheme.
  • Auto Erotica: Bridget and Mike have a romp in Bridget's Jeep.
  • Baby Don't Got Back: When Bridget tries the Vamp routine on the black Harlan, he initially blows her off, complaining that white women have "no ass". He does give in her to her demands to see his supposedly huge dick, apparently more out of wounded ego than a real desire for Bridget specifically.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: She may be the lead, but Bridget is a sociopath to the core, and successfully kills her husband, frames Mike, and gets away with it, and the money.
  • Batman Gambit: Subverted. Mike and Clay figure out the scheme, and they defeat Bridget's carefully-constructed plan for Mike to kill Clay so she can frame Mike for Clay's murder. But they completely underestimate her improvisational skills. She works out a new plan in all of five seconds that THAT plan works perfectly.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Mike is established as wanting to leave Beston and live in New York City. He gets his wish, but under far, far less pleasant circumstances than he wanted.
  • Because I'm Good At It: When we first meet Bridget, she's supervising telemarketers at a shady operation that sells "collectible" coins. She's not going to get a "Best Boss" coffee cup from her employees, but she clearly excels in the job, especially since it allows her to verbally insult her employees to make them work harder for sales bonuses.
  • Becoming the Mask: Bridget hates Beston and the townsfolk pretty much from the start. However, when Frank convinces her that staying there is the best option for hiding out from Clay, she settles in and scores herself a pretty respectable job at a local Beston company. She assimilates to the town enough that certain people, such as the company's front desk greeter, look out for her and warn her when Clay's PI comes looking for her. She seems to excel at her new job as well, whipping the underlings into shape.
  • Berserk Button:
    • For Mike, what pushes him over the edge in the final scene is Bridget mocking him for his marriage to Trish; it turns out that she was a trans woman.
    • Also, when Chris tries to claim Bridget offered him a blowjob to find out Mike's secret, Mike beats the crap out of him, and the buddy quickly admits that he TRIED to hit on her, and she immediately shot him down.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Harlan is the first character to die.
  • Black Is Bigger in Bed: Bridget brilliantly invokes this to her husband's private investigator Harlan (a black man) to distract him while she's driving the car they're in. She brings it up and laughingly asks him to "show her his". When he sensibly refuses, she implies the reason he won't is because the opposite is true in his case. He eventually lets his male ego get the better of him and gives in, taking off his seatbelt to do so. This results in his death when she intentionally crashes the car.
  • Black Widow: Bridget murders her husband Clay without hesitation and sucessfully frames Mike for it.
  • Brainy Brunette: Bridget. Used for the purposes of evil. She runs rings around, and bests, every man that tangles with her in the film. The hapless Mike completely falls for her, but all she does is use him as means to an end, and both Harlan and Clay completely underestimate her and pay for it with their lives.
  • Brooklyn Rage: Clay comments that his locally-hired detective won't get rough with Bridget; he needs a New Yorker for that.
  • Cassandra Truth: For one moment in the film, Bridget actually tells Mike some truth. When she is reconciling with Mike at the bar, after she slapped him for touching her in the lobby of the Interstate office, Mike references wanting to know more about her. Bridget asks if he can keep a secret, then says, "Someone steals a million bucks, but there's a catch, they spend it..." Mike cuts her off, once again thinking she's just messing with him. In fact, that's almost exactly what Bridget did. She only stole $750,000, and she had, at the time, only spent a small portion of it, but it's the one and only time in the film that Bridget is even slightly honest with Mike. It's also likely that she said it because she knew he wouldn't believe her.
  • The City vs. the Country: This trope is invoked here numerous times and in the end played completely straight. The townsfolk in Beston are indeed more wholesome than in New York. Once it is even said that a detective from New York can be violent for the benefit of his client while a local detective can only follow someone but would never hurt anyone.
  • Chekhov's Gun: This time it is mace. First it is shown when Bridget directs it at Harlan. Later she uses it to murder Clay.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder:
    • Bridget, pretty much for the entire film. There are hints that Bridget was always planning to steal the money Clay got from the drug deal, and that his slap had little to do with why she runs. And she continues to backstab him throughout the film.
    • Also Mike. Everything she does with Mike is ultimately to twist Mike into murdering Clay so she can frame him and get away with it.
  • Clueless Detective: In contrast to Harlan, Bert, the above-mentioned local detective, is only comic relief.
  • Condescending Compassion: Frank helps Bridget with the legalities around stealing the $750,000 of drug money and keeping it away from Clay, but isn't afraid to drop a number of sarcastic zingers to remind her of how evil she's being about the situation, especially when she starts pouting about how long it will take to legally divorce Clay.
    Frank Griffith: "Well I'm sorry the law doesn't make it easier for you to steal and deal drugs, Bridget."
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Bridget, particularly when she’s around Mike.
      Bridget Gregory: "Could you leave? Please?"
      Mike Swale: "I haven't finished charming you yet."
      Bridget Gregory: "You haven't started."
    • Clay also. When Mike comes to rob him, using dialogue (suggested by Bridget) that he memorized in advance, Clay snarks:
      Clay Gregory: "Did you read a book on this?"
    • Frank Griffith repeatedly during Bridget's phone calls to him seeking legal advice so she can not only divorce Clay, but keep the $750,000 to herself.
      Bridget Gregory: "You still a lawyer, Frank?"
      Frank Griffith: "Yeah. You still a self-serving bitch?"
  • Deadly Hug: Played with. In this case, a kiss. Bridget gives Clay a passionate kiss right before forcing his mouth open and spraying a can of mace down his throat.
  • Deconstructed Trope: As the title implies, the film was intended to be this for the typical Film Noir Femme Fatale plot, illustrating just how heartless a woman would have to be to seduce a man into murdering a complete stranger, and how dumb the man would have to be to actually fall for it.
  • Defective Detective: Harlan is or rather, was one of these; apparently, he has some serious issues regarding certain racial and sexual stereotypes (see above).
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Mostly subverted. Every time Bridget seems to be opening up to Mike, or letting him get closer to her, it's all a ruse to get him more attached to her so she can keep using him.
    • Mike does seem to genuinely make progress with her, shortly after she's been hired at Interstate. It leads to Mike becoming her "designated fuck." However, it seems to be the only genuine time in the film.
      Mike Swale: "...None of the other secretaries seem to know who you are."
      Bridget Gregory: "I'm not just a secretary, you rural neanderthal, I'm the..."
      Mike Swale: "Director of lead generation. I'm just trying to get your attention."
      Bridget Gregory: "...That's good."
  • Delicious Distraction: The small-town PI that Clay hires after the spectacular failure of his first detective accepts a plate of fresh-baked cookies from Bridget while he's supposed to be doing surveillance on her. Given that it's Bridget, he's lucky he only winds up with a flat tire.
  • Did They or Didn't They?: It's lightly hinted, but never confirmed, that Frank and Bridget may have been involved before she married Clay.
  • Domestic Abuse: Downplayed. Clay slaps Bridget when she taunts him, but feels sorry soon after. Bridget, however, either harbors a huge grudge or uses the incident as an excuse to take the money for herself. She also claims to be the victim of this to secure a new job.
  • Don't Ask: Mike's reaction whenever his failed marriage (see above) comes up; since Mike is constantly pressing Bridget to talk about serious things and get closer emotionally, this tips her off that this is something big she can use against him.
  • Establishing Character Moment: For Bridget at her first job, she likes to be in command and is foul-mouthed.
  • Evil Genius: Bridget's plan to dupe Mike into killing Clay is pretty elaborate. When it fails, the plan she comes up with in five seconds to replace it is just as, if not more, effective than her initial plan.
  • Evil Wears Black: Bridget, for much of the film, wears a black blazer, skirt, heels, and stockings. She knowingly subverts this once when she invites Mike over for dinner, and she tries to convince Mike that she's in love with him, and that the $750,000 she stole from Clay was a payoff for her murdering an abusive husband in Florida and being paid by the wife out of the life insurance money.
  • Fanservice: Linda Fiorentino does several nude scenes. She declined a body double.
  • Film Noir: One of the most famous '90s neo noirs.
  • Fish out of Water: Bridget as she first comes to Beston and slowly begins settling in. After living in New York City, random people saying hello to her on the street as they pass by is practically alien to her. Also, when she's bossy to the bartender of Mike's usual bar, he ignores her and attempts to not serve her until Mike intervenes on her behalf.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Any hopes the audience may have of Bridget's character having a Heel–Face Turn are pretty much ruled out when she's on the phone to Frank, helps herself to a pie in Mike's fridge, doesn't like it, and puts her cigarette out on it. The camera shows us that the pie has a cutesy note from Mike's grandmother on it. She used a pie Mike's grandma baked with love as an ashtray.
    • Also, in his introductory scene, Mike wants to leave Beston for New York City. He latches on to Bridget because he can tell she's from there, and thinks she can help him get there. In the end, she does get him to New York City, but afterward he's facing life in prison at best, and potentially the electric chair.
  • Frame-Up: First, a minor example, when Bridget reports Clay's second PI to the police as a stalker. Then, the big one: in the final sequence, she sets up Mike.
  • Friends with Benefits: Bridget implies to Mike that they should be this. That's before Mike reveals he's in sappy love with her, and she thinks up some sinister plans involving him.
  • Gaslighting: Bridget does this to Mike constantly. Especially when she's trying to get him to bend to her will and give up on his morality over things such as murder. One big moment comes as she's trying to convince Mike she killed a man "for their relationship," and presents the drug money she stole from Clay as the supposed payoff for doing the deed. When Mike is understandably upset and shocked that Bridget "killed a man," and "doesn't seem bothered by it," and is trying to decide whether to turn her in so he's not an accessory to the supposed murder, Bridget slams the suitcase of money shut and slaps her hands all over it.
    Bridget Gregory: "There's your fucking evidence! And there are my fucking fingerprints! Hey, maybe you'll get a reward and you can open up a fucking feed store! Get the fuck outta here!"
  • Good Is Boring: Bridget repeatedly invokes this when laying the groundwork of supposedly killing abusive husbands and splitting life insurance payouts with their wives, and when trying to goad Mike into killing her husband, under the guise that Clay is a nasty foreclosure lawyer, in response to his repeated refusal to do what she asks. (For obvious reasons.)
    Bridget Gregory: "Please. Is it the morality of murder that bothers you, or the personal risk?"
  • Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Bridget smokes in most of her scenes, even in her office, and is definitely an embodiment of evil. Her constant lighting up is also a send-up/throwback of the character's 1950s Femme Fatale demeanor. She also uses a pie Mike's grandma made for him as an ashtray, to show how bad to the bone she is. Harlan also smokes, but he's a nominal good guy, if you're rooting against Bridget. Also seen smoking is Bridget's lawyer Frank. He's not as evil as Bridget, but he does willingly offer her legal advice for a situation in which she's up to no good, making him a quasi candidate for evil smoking.
  • Gut Feeling: Clay guesses that, since Bridget loves New York, and can write backwards, that she's using Wen(dy) Kroy as her current alias. He's right.
  • Heel Realization: Completely subverted. Bridget seems to relish being evil and using men solely for her own gain (if she hadn't already), then disposing of them, and she never once has a flicker of remorse over it.
  • Home Sweet Home: Subverted. While she gets a house and lays low in Beston, Bridget keeps the bare minimum of possessions, and much of the home is completely unfurnished, save for her bed, even at the end of the film.
  • How Much Did You Hear?: Bridget pulls one of these on Mike when she pretends to be setting up another scheme to murder another abusive husband and split the life insurance money with the abuser's wife.
  • I Choose to Stay: After fleeing Clay, Bridget basically stops in Beston for gas and a drink, and then decides to use Mike and make it an overnight stay. The next day, after Frank warns her that her current plan to visit a friend in Chicago is exactly what Clay would expect her to do, and exactly where he'll look for her, she decides to camp out in Beston for a while and even gets a house and a job as further cover. The plan works.
  • Idiot Ball: Both private eyes in the movie grab the ball and sprint for the goal line. Harlan is supposed to be an experienced New York PI, but he lets Bridget bait him into literally being caught with his pants down. Bert, the local PI who Clay hires to replace Harlan, knows the fate of his predecessor, but he still accepts a plate of cookies from Bridget. Given Bridget's personality, he's lucky the cookies were just a distraction, and not laced with arsenic.
  • I Have This Friend: Invoked by Bridget as she's fishing for legal advice on what to do now that she's stolen $750,000 in drug money and has skipped out on Clay. Frank knows entirely she's talking about herself.
    Bridget Gregory: "A friend needs advice. I'll set it up for you: A husband and wife do a one-time drug deal. The goal is a wholesome one."
    Frank Griffith "College fund for the kids."
    Bridget Gregory "No. The wife wants new digs. Comes off without a hitch, only the wife decides that the new house would be happier without the husband."
    Frank Griffith "Sharing was never her specialty."
  • Innocent Bigot: The front desk receptionist at Interstate wants to make it perfectly clear to Bridget that a black man (Harlan) was looking for her. The office mailroom guy also asks the receptionist if she told Bridget about the black man. This is lampshaded by Harlan himself in a conversation with Bridget, where he tells her that he went into a convenience store for cigarettes and the counterman ducked behind the counter upon seeing he was black. Bridget subverts this later, when she uses Harlan's race to play into the prejudices of the local Beston cop tasked with investigating Harlan's death.
  • Insurance Fraud: Using Mike's position in the company to look at life insurance policies with high payouts, Bridget attempts to draw Mike into a supposed scheme to murder abusive husbands and split the life insurance payoffs, reasoning that if the husband is murdered by someone completely unrelated to them, the wife can't be a suspect and neither can they. It's all smoke and mirrors, however, so she can set up Mike to murder Clay.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Clay. Despite all he does to get to her, and despite all she does to him, Clay still loves Bridget and is willing to let it all slide and stay married to her if she wants. Also, much of Clay's desperation to find her is because he was going to use a portion of the money to pay off gambling debts, and the bill collectors are starting to break his fingers to prod Clay into coughing up the money.
  • Just One Little Mistake: Subverted when the imprisoned Mike realizes that Bridget made one mistake in her master plan involving a name tag on a mailbox. The film ends with Bridget slipping the tag out of the mailbox, burning it, and driving off in her chauffeured limo.
  • Karma Houdini: By the last scene, life without parole is the absolute best Mike, after being busted for murder and rape, can hope for, while Bridget gets off scot-free — and, apparently, independently wealthy to boot.
  • The Last Title: The title.
  • Line-of-Sight Alias: Played With. Bridget comes up with her Sdrawkcab Alias herself, but Clay figures it out after an accidental glance at a poster of New York in the mirror. (New York = Wen(dy) Kroy backwards.)
  • Making Love in All the Wrong Places: Mike and Bridget have sex in a car and against the wire fence outside a bar. Deleted scenes show them doing it on the floor and in a school gym they broke into.
  • Manipulative Bitch: Bridget will stop at nothing to escape Clay, and then have her revenge on him, and then get away with it. Even to the point of premeditated murder, in the process ruining the life of someone whose biggest fault is being incredibly naive — Mike.
  • Mean Boss: Bridget isn't very nice to the scam callers she supervises in New York, and when she gets a cover job in Beston while she's on the lam, her disposition doesn't improve.
  • Miscarriage of Justice: The ending implies that Mike will spend the rest of his life in prison for Bridget's crimes, at best.
  • Mistaken for Misogynist: When Mike playfully gropes Bridget as they're coming into the office, Bridget, wanting to keep their private relationship secret, slaps Mike and suggests he made an unwelcome advance on her before storming off, making the receptionist on the ground floor and everyone else in the lobby think Mike is one.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: Bridget tries to convince Mike (as part of her master plan to get him to kill Clay) that in order to be able to live together comfortably in the big city, they need to kill some nasty jerks and split their life insurance policies with their wives.
  • Nice to the Waiter: Subverted. Bridget is rude to Ray the barman when she first meets him and gets incensed when he clearly refuses to serve her. When Mike suggests politeness after helping her get a drink, the concept is almost foreign to her. Her later interaction with him when she goes back to the bar on another night shows that she still bears a grudge, as it's completely insincere.
    Bridget Gregory: "A Manhattan. Please, thank you."
  • No Seat Belts: Harlan doesn't click it; if only he'd just gotten a ticket. In fairness, he did click it until Bridget convinced him to unclick it.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • The one moment in the film where Bridget's completely cool resolve breaks is when Harlan first catches up to her. She quickly recovers, in spades.
    • A minor one in the first act, when she discovers that her one night stand Mike, who she was planning to simply use and lose, works for the company she just got herself hired to. She hides her face and then hides in the ladies' rest room in an attempt to get away from him.
    • Clay, when he discovers that Bridget has stolen the $750,000 from the shopping bag.
    • Mike himself gets one almost at the end. After he and Clay reveal that they figured out what she's up to, and she's seemingly defeated, his moment of calm is quickly replaced by shock and horror as Bridget forces Clay's mouth open and sprays a can of mace down his throat.
  • Old Flame: There's a blink and you'll miss it line of dialogue that indicates that Bridget and Frank may have been an item before Bridget married Clay.
    Frank Griffith: "My lips movin' too fast for you?"
    Bridget Gregory: "Not fast enough, as I recall..."
  • Only Bad Guys Call Their Lawyers: Bridget calls a lawyer to find out how she can get can spend her ill-gotten gains without her husband laying claim to any of it. She subsequently calls him multiple times asking for advice on laying low, and for advice when she thinks her call has been traced by Clay.
  • The Perfect Crime: Bridget successfully kills a PI, and successfully kills her husband, Mike is completely framed for the latter, and she escapes the law completely with $750,000.
  • Phone-Trace Race: Performed by Clay and Harlan when Bridget calls.
  • Prone to Tears: Bridget convincingly fakes this in the hospital after her car crash, when police inquire as to why her late passenger was in a very embarrassing state of attire.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: In the intimate scene outside the bar against the fence, Peter Berg said in an interview that there was nothing specific about the encounter in the script, and they had only a brief amount of time to film the sequence. Berg said Linda Fiorentino was the one who quickly pushed him against the fence and "choreographed" the sequence in the brief amount of time they had to film it, and complimented her, because he thought the scene turned out quite well in the finished film.
  • Revised Ending: Initially, Mike's lawyer at the end was going to be Bridget's lawyer, Frank. During the client interview, he was going to find out about the phony name tag on Clay's door, then call Bridget, let her know about that missed detail, and the film ended with her collecting it and burning it as filmed. The sequence was shot, but it was felt that having Frank in the end was a twist too far, so it was revised with a nameless public defender, and Bridget being savvy enough to eliminate the evidence on her own.
  • Running Gag: The foul-mouthed, New Yorker Bridget's slow integration into small town life and interactions with the simple folk.
    • Whenever Bridget has a problem, she immediately calls Frank. He finally gets a little frustrated in the interruptions when she disturbs him while he's meeting with other clients. He even takes the time to remind her that she's not the only person he has as a client.
  • Schmuck Bait: Bridget, pretending to be out of town, secretly overhears a drunken phone call in real time on her answering machine from Mike, where he questions their relationship and if she has any true feelings for him. He stops midway and she knows he's coming over to delete it. To keep her hooks into Mike, she scrawls a bunch of hearts and lovey sayings with Mike's name on a notepad and leaves it next to the answering machine for him to find to convince him that she has feelings for him too. He does, and it works perfectly.
  • Sdrawkcab Alias: Wen(dy) Kroy.
  • Shout-Out: When she calls the local police and claims that Clay's local PI exposed himself to her child, she gives her name as Mrs. Neff, the same last name as the protagonist of Double Indemnity.
  • Smoking Is Cool: Cigarettes are bad for you, but Bridget looks so good smoking them that she almost single-handedly usurps the Surgeon General's warning.
  • The Sociopath:
    • Bridget, point by point from the trope description:
      1. The only time she ever discusses morality she seems to regard it as some alien concept.
      2. Her attorney is the only person she ever tells the unvarnished truth, and is also the only person she doesn't try to manipulate — only because she can get what she wants from him more easily without it.
      3. She's doing Mike everywhere except Main Street in broad daylight...
      4. ... but not because she "loves" him.
      5. The film ends with her chauffeur holding an umbrella for her so she can walk across a sidewalk.
    • After supposedly going out of town for a few days, Bridget smilingly cooks Mike dinner upon her return, wears his shirt, and plays lovey. Further, she attempts to convince Mike that her trip out of town was actually so she could go to Florida, kill the husband of an abused wife, and split the life insurance payoff. She solidifies this lie with the cash she stole from Clay, claiming it's the payoff money. When Mike naturally has a big problem with this, she screams at him that she needs a man that will support her, throws him out, and then LAUGHS after she shuts the door at how effortlessly she played upon his emotions and love for her.
    • She dupes Harlan (who's not wearing a seat belt) into pulling out his junk, then floors her Jeep, drives into a tree, and kills him when he goes through the windshield, solely so she can get him off her back and later claim to the local police investigating that he was going to assault her. Clay's actually stunned about it when he calls her later.
    • With her carefully-constructed plan to have Mike kill Clay and frame him for it goes up in smoke, she thinks up an entirely new plan in about five seconds, unhesitatingly kills Clay herself by spraying mace down his throat, then works Mike up into enough of a rage to have violent intercourse with her, and goads him into saying he's assaulting her after she's taken the phone off the hook and dialed 911.
    • She has no problem letting Mike rot in prison for a crime he didn't commit so she can start a new life and keep the stolen $750,000 for herself.
  • Stepford Suburbia: Bridget stays in one of these when she's on the run. She feels like a fish out of water, but she brilliantly plays a normal resident.
  • Stupid Good: Mike embodies this to a great extent, especially the bit about not understanding evil in others.
  • The Unfair Sex: Completely and utterly averted.
  • Tap on the Head: Played with as Clay is hit twice on his head with a gun but does not lose his conscience.
  • They Really Do Love Each Other:
    • Subverted entirely. Despite all of Mike's efforts, Bridget never has any cathartic moment where she reveals she loves Mike, and instead, uses him completely as a means to an end, letting him take the rap for a murder he didn't commit to escape scot-free.
    • Also, despite everything Bridget does to Clay throughout the course of the film, including trying to get Mike to murder him for her, he's willing to let all of it slide and stay married to her. She responds by spraying a can of mace down his throat.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Several characters.
    • Harlan knows from Clay that Bridget is a master manipulator, but still allows himself to get into a compromising position that allows Bridget to wreck her car and make it look like she killed "stalker" Harlan who was going to assault her.
    • After Bridget spent the entire movie trying to get rid of Clay, to the point of deciding to use Mike in a Murder Is The Best Option ploy, Clay, after thinking he's completely upset her master plan, thinks that bygones are bygones and offers to take her back. He seems to have forgotten what an evil genius Bridget is, but he learns quickly how dumb he was when she comes up with a new plan on the fly and kills him herself in the space of about 10 seconds.
    • Also, Mike. Even after he's watched her literally kill Clay in front of him, he lets her gaslight him one final time into attacking her in a role play fantasy, which she gets recorded when she makes an unobserved phone call to 911 during it. While it's not a guarantee Mike is a dead man at the end, his defense attorney urges him to plead to get life in prison, and says that based on how sewn up the case against him is, if he tries to fight it in open court, and if the recorded phone call is played before a jury, they'll likely sentence him to the electric chair.
  • Trial Balloon Question: As part of her plan to use Mike to kill Clay, she first ropes him in by convincing him to cold call high-payout life insurance beneficiaries, suggesting that they could make more than enough money to skip town and live on by killing abusive husbands and splitting the life insurance payouts with the abused spouse. She even does a convincing test run with one of the wives she calls while Mike listens in, and as a further surprise, the wife actually seems to be interested in her doing it before Bridget claims she's not serious and hangs up. It's a big red flag that Mike completely ignores due to his infatuation with Bridget.
  • Unsettling Gender-Reveal: Mike used to live in Buffalo for a while, and even got married, but he ran away on their wedding night because his blushing bride turned out to be a pre-operative trans woman.
  • Villain Protagonist: Bridget is, as noted throughout, a vamp, a femme fatale, and a (relatively) high-functioning sociopath — but she's so damned good at it.
  • Villains Out Shopping: As she settles into Beston and starts working out her scheme to get away clean from Clay, we see a brief montage of her following Frank's advice and getting a house, getting a job, and becoming a regular at Mike's usual bar.
  • Wham Line:
    • Frank, when he's been filled in by Clay about how Bridget stole the money he made from selling drugs, and that he's being assaulted by mob types who want payment. Frank practically breaks the fourth wall and asks what many in the audience are probably thinking.
      "Anyone check you for a heartbeat recently?"
    • Bridget, finally revealing the secret of why Mike divorced his wife Trish.
      "You married a man, you farm faggot!"
    • Also Bridget, when Mike says he can't tell if Bridget is a total bitch or not.
  • Where da White Women At?: Initially defied by Harlan when Bridget tries to seduce him by asking him if "the rumors" are true. He blows her off at first, commenting that white women are too skinny in the hips department. She does manage to eventually get a rise out of him with, "I'll show you mine if you show me yours," which she then uses to permanently dispose of him.
  • Worthless Yellow Rocks: At Bridget's call center in the opening scene, the telemarketers are selling silver coins under the claim that they're collectible or valuable. They are very clearly not, especially when one of the callers hits a goal, Bridget offers him $100 or hundreds of dollars in collectible coins, and he quickly takes the cash.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit:
    • Bridget pulls this first at the hospital with the cop and then in the final scene to put the rap on Mike.
    • She also pulls this in her interview with the supervisor at Mike's company, claiming she's on the run from an abusive spouse, so she can get a job under her assumed name and avoid leaving a paper trail for Clay to follow to find out where she is. The supervisor readily agrees and handle her personnel file personally and reduce the paper trial for Clay to be able to find her.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: Bridget is a grandmaster, best shown in the final scene. With Clay and Mike beginning to realize her true depth of evil and thus unite against her, she reasons out a way not only to survive but triumph in the space of about five (literal) New York seconds.
  • You Don't Want to Know: Partially invoked by Frank. After Bridget settles into Beston, she starts to tell him where he can find her and he adamantly tells her he doesn't want to know where she is, as Clay has already been calling him multiple times trying to get information on her whereabouts from Frank.