13 years after the release of the first Single White Female and a countless host of imitations, an official sequel was released straight-to-video in 2005. Subtitled “The Psycho,” (because apparently, Jennifer Jason Leigh was totally stable in the first film), Single White Female 2 tells the story of what happens when one roommate becomes obsessed with the other. It all leads to murder and sexual infidelity and sudden hairstyle changes.
Maybe you’re thinking that this sounds exactly like the first Single White Female. And, okay, there are some similarities. But just consider some of the differences!
1. In the first Single White Female, Jennifer Jason Leigh’s character grows obsessed with Bridget Fonda after moving into Fonda’s apartment. In Single White Female 2, Tess (played by Allison Lange) becomes obsessed with Holly (Kristen Miller) after Holly moves into Tess’s apartment. See, this time, the psycho has her name on the lease. HUGE DIFFERENCE!
2. In the first Single White Female, the plot is set in action after Bridget Fonda discovers that Steven Weber cheated on her. In the sequel, the plot is set in motion by Holly’s original roommate, Jan (Brooke Burns), seducing a client who Holly was also sleeping with. Again, that’s a huge difference and it also leads us to wonder if maybe Holly just sucks at choosing roommates.
3. In the first Single White Female, Jennifer Jason Leigh played an unstable bookstore employee. In the sequel, Tess is a nurse who has a history of killing people who she feels would be happier dead. In other words, Tess is a psycho with a mission.
4. In the first Single White Female, Jennifer Jason Leigh’s character hung out in a sleazy S&M club. In the sequel, Tess actually performs on stage.
5. The first Single White Female actually looked like a real movie whereas the sequel has the flat and rather bland look of a film shot for and on video.
6. In the first Single White Female, you could understand why an insecure person would want to steal Bridget Fonda’s identity. In the sequel, Holly’s identity doesn’t seem to be interesting enough to justify trying to steal.
7. In the first Single White Female, Jennifer Jason Leigh gave a performance that inspired both fear and sympathy. In the sequel, Tess is just your typical straight-to-video movie psycho. There’s no indication that she could have ever been anything other than a straight-to-video movie psycho.
8. The first Single White Female was a good film, almost despite itself. The sequel is rather dull.
So, I guess my point here is that, if you want to watch a movie about a roommate stealing someone’s identity and getting a new haircut, the first Single White Female is the one to go with. The sequel doesn’t really add anything worthwhile to the story, nor does it improve on it in any way. Give some credit to Brooke Burns, who plays Holly’s untrustworthy ex-roommate and who, at the very least, seems to understand the type of movie in which she’s appearing. Brooke Burns gets the worst lines but she at least seems to be having fun delivering them. Otherwise, it’s best just to forget about this sequel.