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Slim (Jennifer Lopez) is an ordinary working-class waitress at a southern California diner. One day, a customer hits on her, only for another one behind him, Mitch Hiller (Bill Campbell), to reveal that he had overheard him saying yesterday that he was just trying to win a bet that he could get her into bed. Slim is flattered by his defending of her, and no sooner than the very next shot, she and Mitch are married...
At first, the two are happy together; with Mitch ringing the doorbell of a house Slim decides she likes and being able to talk the owner into selling it to them right then and there. The two have a daughter named Gracie. However, one day, Slim discovers Mitch is having an affair. He swears he will stop, but then he has several more, and when Slim calls him out on it, he hits her, blatantly telling her that as a man and the provider of their household he can do whatever he wishes. Despite the fact that he had never, during their entire 3 or 4 prior years of marriage, exhibited such behavior; and by all appearances was perfectly nice and mentally-balanced. Once the police refuse to help, Slim makes a daring escape with her daughter in the night with her friends... whilst Mitch is still at home.
Slim winds up in Michigan where she starts to rebuild her life. Mitch, meanwhile, is revealed to somehow have eyes and ears in the police and FBI across the States; and that he and the customer who hit on her in the diner at the start of the movie were pulling a ploy on her together. He tracks her down, and Slim and Gracie are forced to flee again.
Slim now decides that she has had... wait for it... enough; and starts scheming to collect her dues. She learns Krav Maga, and booby-traps Mitch's house, all of which she does dressed in a black tracksuit and with techno music playing in the background. Finally, she sneaks into the house at night, waits for Mitch to come home and then beats the bajeezus out of him, killing him. Then she and Gracie live happily ever after.
- All Men Are Perverts
- You Fail Law Forever: In real life, spouse abuse is illegal- it can even get you jail time.
- Mitch has Corrupt Cop friends, remember?
- Beware the Nice Ones: Mitch learns this the hard way.
- Car Fu: Because there are ever so many abused women that get into high-speed car chases with their husbands.
- Deus Angst Machina: Mitch is rich enough and well-connected enough to do whatever the hell he wants to Slim and get off scott free. Of course, what he does for a living and what his connections actually are are ridiculously vague.
- Near the start of the film it's shown Mitch owns some sort of construction company
- The Dog Shot First: Even though she intends on beating him to death with her bare hands, Slim hesitates and decides not to kill Mitch when she has him at her mercy. But when he attacks her again, he gets fatally thrown out his third-story window.
- Dogged Nice Guy: Slim's ex-boyfriend Joe. When she flees for the first time, she goes to his apartment and he doesn't reveal her hiding place despite three men threatening him with a knife. Later, he visits her in Michigan, where they share a bed for one night, and she says he's "really not that bad" (few guys are, compared with Mitch.) After that, Joe disappears until the end credits, when he pops up with Slim and Gracie on a boat.
- Domestic Abuse: One of the reasons the movie is widely hated is its use of Domestic Abuse, a very sensitive topic, as a thriller.
- I'm a Man, I Can't Help It: Mitch's justification for his affairs before he stops feeling that he has to justify his actions to his wife at all.
- Jerkass: Mitch. Almost to super-villain levels.
- Murder Is the Best Solution : Slim was even told that he was powerful enough to get away with it, and any legal action she takes would just allow him to track her down and kill her. It wasn't exactly the best option but it may have really been her 'only' option
- Pay Evil Unto Evil
- Police Are Useless
- Revenge Against Men
- Straw Misogynist: "What, I'm not allowed to hit you?"
- Took a Level In Badass: Slim passes from an innocent housewife into a Lara Croft - like Action Girl.
- Trailers Always Spoil