Spoilers are going to need some wine.
If you haven’t guessed it already, turn back now. I can’t take Kristen Bell seriously, and with good reason. This is a parody after all, and one particularly obvious about it. Just that title should have given you a gigantic hint, but if not there’s more than enough tropes here to fill a bottle of wine. Or empty one. I did feel going in that I don’t understand how it wasn’t a movie instead, but as a miniseries it does work. It’s not particularly subtle, but I do like the fact that it doesn’t feel the need to go completely over the top while still being obvious as heck.
The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window (2022) was created by Rachel Ramras, Hugh Davidson, and Larry Dorf. Anna (Kristen Bell) is a recluse who lost her daughter and divorced from her husband. Due to her daughter’s death she has a phobia to rain and stopped painting. Now she spends her days drinking and watching the world go by out the window. One day she gets some new neighbours across the street, single father Neil (Tom Riley) and his precocious daughter Emma (Samsara Yett). She feels a connection with them until Neil’s girlfriend Lisa (Shelley Hennig) appears in the picture. One night, she sees what looks like a murder across the window and her life spirals out of a control.
It’s funny how this almost remains one tricky step from being an all out screwball comedy. It’s grounded for the most part, except for the incredible amount of tropes from the same sub-genre of thriller films. The strangest part is how closely it resembles a few that are also on Netflix. The fact that it must step onto every cliche is also the reason why it feels like it’s going for a subversive plot, as you expect to see something familiar but also over the top.
It’s very mild in its delivery, which is why I think it might confuse audiences. The tone is never laugh-out-loud but the jokes are shallow. It has a serious tone but it’s doing a parody, in the same way that a mock documentary would tell story but it lacks the snappy editing. It’s got slight more engaging moments but mostly comes off as bland. Unfortunately it throws it all away in the reveal when it decides to go for a completely stupid screwball finale that will bring groans instead of laughter.
Not recommended unless you want to use it as a background watch. It just feels tonally inconsistent. Often it feels like it’s going for a joke but slowing the pacing to fill up the runtime. Kirsten Bell’s Anna is engaging enough but the payoff is too weak and the finale just throws away any semblance of entertainment down the toilet. Not worth a watch unless you’re not really watching.
That will do for now.