This urban thriller-melodrama (also released under the title Guardian of Eden) serves as an African-American contribution to the Fatal Attraction-inspired subgenre of films depicting the frightening consequences of a married man’s infidelity with what turns out to be a mentally unhinged seductress.  In the case of The Good Wifey, personally and financially successful protagonist Michael Raynar (David Ramsay) – a man so successful, in fact, that he actually lives in a castle (!) – is at first the aggressor in the relationship after being encouraged by his less scrupulous buddies in a bar; but seemingly casual pick-up Kimmy (Tangi Miller) clearly has more than a one-night stand in mind when she shows up unannounced at Michael’s office for an impromptu lunch date.  Michael sends Kimmy away and considers the matter settled, unaware that his life as he has known it up to now with wife and mother-to-be Clarke (Persia White) is already over.

To divulge more of the story would undermine the fun of this entertainingly lurid low-budget potboiler’s plot, which, however, is also brought to life and made memorable by its commendable cast.  Ramsay and Miller are solid and believable in the leads, but supporting player Chico Benymon steals the show as Michael’s sleazy friend Rahim, a devoted jerk given to making blunt remarks like, “You be lookin’ like shit” – or, in recommending that Michael seek sexual healing to help dissipate his malaise: “Pop that ass like a pimple.”  While other characters may occasionally seem overly formal as scripted, the dialogue is reliably naturalistic whenever Rahim puts in an appearance, as when he observes, half-censoriously, half-approvingly, that Michael “hit it raw” (i.e., had unprotected sex).  Akuyoe Graham’s performance as Kimmy’s mother will have viewers uncertain whether to fear her or fear for her, and Sam Scarber is also notable as her appalling man Bill.

3 out of 5 stars.  Ideological Content Analysis indicates that The Good Wifey is:

3. Realistic/self-scrutinizing.  “Everybody knows I’m saved,” the unsavory Bill says, drink in hand, indicating that mere profession of faith falls far short of true salvation.

2. Anti-slut.  After viewing The Good Wifey, any male audience members weak in flesh should be content to keep their trousers firmly buttoned for good.

1. Christian/pro-family/traditionalist.  Notwithstanding the film’s abundance of salacious subject matter and nasty talk, the fact remains that Michael and others suffer in proportion to their deviation from traditional family values.  Had the character stuck to the path of righteousness all along and been faithful, he would have remained untouchable, immune to the infernal machinery of sin.  He does, however, provide a positive model to the extent that he accepts his responsibility as a father.

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