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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This was a nice, easy to watch Lifetime movie. There were no surprises, no real dramatic moments, nothing to take your breath away or to lose it from some emotion. But, it was light, and funny, silly, predictable - a chick flick. Who needs anything heavier? When I watch TV I don't want hard core real life. I want to have some enjoyment and to relax. I would have to say though, as a nurse, that hiring this women who only worked as a candy striper some 30 years earlier and calling her a "nurse" was a bit problematic for me. But all in all, it was good, clean, simple fun and a pleasure to watch. Personally, I couldn't wait until the end when she would come back and buy the mill!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Sydney is a successful but spoiled movie actress. One day she gets
frustrated and walks off a movie set in New England, and she ends up
hitchhiking to a hick town with a steel mill in danger of closing. Because
she is still in costume, people think she is a bag lady, but some of the
people are nice to her, and she ends up liking the community so much (it
reminds her of where she grew up) that she wants to stay. She conveniently
leaves out part of her job history when she gets a chance to make some
money, and she turns out to be good at the job she does get. Meanwhile,
Fran is about to go crazy because she has to explain Sydney's absence to
those who are wondering.
I thought Sela Ward was wonderful. She has such a nice smile and she's great looking, but Sydney had such a pleasant personality once she realizes she had to be nice to people. Jane Curtin was really good too. And the townspeople were charming enough. The movie was funny at times but it could be touching too. And it had plenty of lessons to teach us.
Sydney may have been an actress, but that didn't help her when she auditioned for a community theatre production of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'. But the director had his own reasons for selecting someone else.
This effort is routinely - if not garishly, more's the pity - formulaic
in its plot, situation and characters. It is certainly bland and bears
the standard airbrushed feel-goodery of the bland-B-Picture, the
TV-Movie. It is only really worth a few marks for a *relatively* fair
script, performances with just a pinch of life, and it is slightly less
annoying than the worst of its kind, or indeed many of the more
successful U.S. 'blockbuster' pictures of today. I felt it could maybe
have been a bit more economical and kept the running time down below 80
minutes; after all, do I really want to watch this general sort of
insipidity for half an hour, let alone 90-120 minutes...!? And,
obviously, I would rather the scriptwriters had thrown their weight
behind a few more quirks or added even any emotional depth.
Acting is far from awful, a la "Showgirls" or "Starship Troopers"; it is merely competent if bland, much like a middling TV soap. The main character Sydney Clarke is played by Sela Ward, who just about manages to carry this TVM; she is an inept actress who simply undergoes a change of pace in her life for a while. Yes... this is scintallating stuff, I mark ye! ;) Ward does play her character with some charm, making her likable and wispy, even if she fits resolutely into the ultimately saccharine world of the film. Ward, an older actress at 43 when she played this 36-year-old uses perhaps that extra experience to treat the whole thing on occasion with a dry levity - the scene where Sydney ineptly renders a Shakespeare soliloquy is admittedly fun, after a fashion.
To be frank, as a picture, this is quite forgettable, but certainly not due too much criticism; 'tis after all, small-fry, though unfortunately these things do get quite regular showings on UK TV - Channel 5 most likely, but not just - during the afternoon. This is explicitly not a film - or TVM - to go out of one's way for, or indeed stay in for. It isn't even quite worth a sole viewing on TV, despite the dainty turn of Sela Ward, who is just about the only performer to show signs of jocund life. Who, indeed, wants to fully take this whole story seriously, who is not part of its U.S. TV target-audience? No... I thought I didn't see any hands up at the back, ladies, fellers, felons... ;)
I just finished watching this painful Sunday film. My son was married on Saturday, and I was too tired to leave the couch and to click the remote. What a simple, predictable story. I never liked Sela Ward, who is one of the worst actors ever. Even a ton of red lipstick does not help. Anyone who knows mill workers, especially steel workers, sees the flaws in this. First of all, a steel town is not a charming, storybook place to live. Bowling, community theatre, a cozy dinner place at film's end were silly. In this economy Hollywood money would not save a dying industry! And the workers in line for splinter-in-the-butt removal and other such ailments -- dumb, dumb, dumb! Hiring her as a nurse in a steel mill where serious accidents DO happen was unreal and dangerous. And that white-haired, panty-waist Ben -- was that his name? What a crummy job acting! His supposed-to-be dynamic speeches and serious looks were hilarious, and Ward's portions were miserable. Near the end when the assortment of characters was-were speaking - ugh! How bad was that? And Fran -- horrible acting. What a way to end a perfect weekend. This destined for a tour of Lifetime film is awful so do not waste your time. It was not even sleep-inducing -- way more painful than "a splinter in the butt"! I cannot believe I actually wrote that stoopid word I never say. See what this did to me. Avoid this garbage.
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