When casting like this falls into your lap, it's a gift. Deborah L. Sherman has said she has a history of mental illness in her family, including bipolar disorder, which undoubtedly helped her absorb the dangerous mood swings of Melinda, the bipolar wife of a pandering politician in Side Effects. Whether she was slinking about their immaculate living room with misplaced carnality, making surreptitious phone calls to a former lover, or using black humor as a defense mechanism, Sherman's Melinda was a fragile creature, uncomfortable in her own skin, her own home, her own marriage. The actress remained always a paragon of subtlety, never overplaying her character's emotional extremities. When she exuded, finally, a sense of self-actualized confidence after the disintegration of the marriage, it's like we were watching another person altogether — not exactly cured but visibly healthier. Sherman portrayed both Melindas with unflinching accuracy.