To me, most TV-movies seem like they are made by the same production company, with all the elements shoved into a big blender and the results poured into various standard molds. They may look a little different, but the taste is usually bland and generic. Over the past couple of years, several TV flicks with a rock & roll theme have been especially disappointing. Happily, 'The Linda McCartney Story' is not one of them.
This movie about a well-known contemporary love story manages to be effective and moving without being overly sentimental and cloying. Elizabeth Mitchell does a decent job in the title role. She's not a double for the real Linda, but that's OK, and she's always believable. Gary Bakewell, on the other hand, does look a lot like Paul McCartney (he played him in the excellent movie 'Backbeat') and he does a thoroughly convincing job. Most of the real-life characters portrayed here resemble their counterparts, but the thrust of the movie is on the story rather than slavishly recreating the look of any particular time period.
The movie wisely concentrates on the couple's relationship and doesn't spend a lot of time trying to duplicate the music of the Beatles and Wings. Its greatest success may be its pacing, as it is able to crowd thirty years of story into a little over and hour and a half, giving attention to most of the important events in Paul and Linda's lives without making the film fell too rushed. All in all this is a good movie for fans of the McCartneys and one that more casual observers might be interested in.
One other note: Allen Klein, the Beatles' ex-business manager, must still cast a mighty fearsome shadow. He's never depicted on camera in this film and is referred to as "Bruce Grossman."
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