Error in Judgment


by Tuna

Sung Hi Lee plays an artist whose boyfriend dumps her. She opens her wrist. Her boyfriend calls an ambulance, and disappears. Joanna Pacula plays a high-paid shrink who does pro bono work for the hospital and is called in to try and reach Lee, who has refused to speak. Pacula gets through, visits her at her studio, is impressed, and has a brainstorm. She tells Lee to show her art to a failing art gallery owner who happens to be her husband (Joe Mantegna). The shrink does not tell the artist that the gallery owner is her husband, and does not tell her husband about the conversation at all. Because Lee's art is wonderful, Mantegna gives her a show, and nearly everything is sold before the official opening. Life seems hunky-dory for everyone.

But Pacula continues to hide her connection to the gallery owner and also continues as the artist's therapist. Problems arise. The artist discusses the show with her therapist, and adds that she is having a hot love affair with the gallery owner! Pacula believes that hubby is cheating and hires a PI to follow him. The PI reports that nothing is going on. Obviously Lee is even more twisted than Pacula realizes, and has made up the affair. We seem to be in standard Fatal Attraction territory, except that Montagna has done nothing wrong at all.

Then the director manufactures a big red herring trying to arrange a huge surprise ending. The hot ending, which was probably the first bit of the script to be written, has Montegna pointing a gun first at one woman, then the other.

This script has many problems:

  • A reputable therapist would not have hidden her relationship with the art dealer from her patient.
  • A therapist, of all people, shouldn't immediately believe a story offered by a patient who is known to have some serious mental problems.
  • Even an art dealer with little experience handling guns would have better sense than to point a loaded gun at the woman he loved before finally pointing it at the right woman!

The ending scene posed the greatest problem. Error in Judgment is the sort of thriller that really irritates me, the kind where I feel manipulated by the director, and this is precisely the kind of contrived scene used by hack writers and directors to create artificial cinematic suspense - something that happens only in movies, not in life.

The cast did not rise above the script. It will probably raise a red flag when I tell you that a former playmate (Sung Hi Lee) was probably the best thing about the film. Joanna Pacula was too passive and cold, and had no chemistry with Joseph Montegna.

Our Grade:

If you are not familiar with our grading system, you need to read the explanation, because the grading is not linear. For example, by our definition, a C is solid and a C+ is a VERY good movie. There are very few Bs and As. Based on our descriptive system, this film is a low:


At best. Only for hard-core thriller addicts.




No significant reviews online.


4.9 IMDB summary (of 10)


Straight to video.


  • Sung Hi Lee shows her breasts and buns in a solo scene involving a bathtub, yellow paint, and bright lighting.