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Mark Smith <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Good interpretations in an otherwise lacklustre story
Nicely played rôle from Keeley Hawes, well backed up even by Joe Duttine as her useless unemployable husband and a more or less acceptable Nicholas Jones as the multimillionaire cabinet minister with private helicopter and a 314-windowed Georgian house set somewhere in Yorkshire. However, to start with, the story comes from a rather mushy would-be romantic origin, which, if you changed the clothing, omitted any number of telephone calls and put in a bit of mist and packs of hunting hounds, might have been just about anything second-hand and second-class by Jane Austen or any of the Brontës. But it is not as the author is Gillian White, who, I gladly glean from IMDb, seems to go in for writing this kind of novel so that the BBC can turn them into two-part TV films.
So the story rolls on, tediously somewhat, from predictable step to foreseeable outcome, barging through to the inevitable, lacking the lustre of anything that really holds you awaiting events. Do not get me wrong: the story is not so so bad, and the acting is reasonably good, but it did not need over 150 minutes of screen time for the importance of anything it had to say.
A year later Diarmuid Lawrence and BBC blessed us with `The Echo' (1998)(qv), an excellent, intelligent TV film which is really worth your time and keeps you hanging on to the story-line the whole time. And that alone is the reason why I bothered with watching `The Beggar Bride', which, in the end, is only a dehollywoodised version of things like Notting Hill, Runaway Bride, etc., with better directing and acting.
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