And now for something completely different: an insurance movie where the female lead is evil, promiscuous, snarky and vicious and stays that way throughout, without reform. (This role is usually given to the male CEO; see The Rainmaker.)
Bridget Gregory, played by Linda Fiorentino in 1994’s The Last Seduction, is a seductive, beautiful, icy genius who plays with men’s hearts and other parts of them as well. Sound porny? Screenwriter Steve Barancik has said that the film was pitched as a low-budget skin flick meant to be broadcast on Cinemax way after dark. But the filmmakers secretly wanted to make a movie that was actually good. In the end, Roger Ebert gave it four out of four stars, and Rotten Tomatoes came in with a smashing 94% rating.
Bridget is a whip-cracking supervisor in telephone sales who demeans her male employees all day. One night, she still had enough energy to steal $700,000 from her wimpy drug dealing husband and shuffle off to Beston, near Buffalo. There, she gets a job at an insurance company and seduces fellow employee Mike Swale, a far more innocent character. Bridget cooks up a scheme to sell life insurance to wealthy women who hate their husbands, with a quiet rider that the man will be murdered posthaste. Mike balks, but she tricks him into trying to murder her own husband. Suffice it to say all the men end up dead or in deep trouble, while Bridget deserts the destruction in a limo.
The plot has many more twists: a gleeful widow, a transgender wife, a deliberate car crash—it goes on and on. If there is a moral to the story, it is this: men in insurance are principled and kindly. It’s the women you have to watch out for.
But of course, we know that’s only true in the movies.