Brenda Vaccaro is a charmer but the film falls flat
Brenda Vaccaro gives a completely charming performance in "Dear Detective", but the rest of the film is below her level. She is sweet and endearing, but the script gives her only one chance to show her much-respected detective skills (comparing two photographs and noticing a small but crucial difference), and even has her behaving extremely unprofessionally at least once (delaying the investigation and stopping an entire train full of passengers just to to give a letter to her potential love interest). The script at least manages to successfully mislead the viewer regarding the motive of the murders that Vaccaro's character, Kate, is investigating, but does not even bother with an attempt at explaining how the killer is able to stab the victims with an ice pick from a very close distance in very public places and get away without anyone noticing anything, one time in fact right before the eyes of many policemen! And a car passing in front of a moving train is as close as the film gets to "action". The romantic parts work slightly better, thanks largely to Vaccaro's presence. Dean Hargrove's direction is mostly flat, save for a bizarre music-slapstick-comedy sequence. Apparently this led to a short-lived TV series with the same main cast. ** out of 4.
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