Jennifer O’Neill stars as an alluring psycho who places yearning ads for men in a newspaper’s personals column; the guys who respond get a roll in the hay and then their hearts slit open by O’Neill, who wields a razor-sharp letter opener.
A reporter (Robin Thomas) goes undercover as a lonely guy to investigate the murders, but winds up just another one of O’Neill’s victims. The fellow’s widow, played by Stephanie Zimbalist, decides to track down this femme fatale.
What we have in Personals is Fatal Attraction if Michael Douglas’ character had been killed off in the first five minutes. Which makes, as you’d imagine, for a tediously lopsided movie.
You just know that the whole movie is building up to a battle between O’Neill and Zimbalist, so director Steven Stern kills most of his allotted two hours by having us watch O’Neill seduce and then murder a series of pathetic, lonely guys, then cutting to shots of Stephanie Zimbalist gritting her teeth and muttering variations on ”I’ll get her if it’s the last thing I do!”
Zimbalist walks through Personals looking as if she’s very annoyed that her career hasn’t gone anywhere since Remington Steele, but O’Neill lets loose for once and has a little fun.
Stuck in the sort of movie in which she has to make her eyes roll up into her head before she murders, O’Neill goes agreeably ga-ga. She’s obviously taking her cue from Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction, acting sexy and nutty at the same time, but there’s no way for her to equal Close’s erotic impact in this drab little TV movie. D