An original and unusual love triangle - sort of...
The classic stage and television actress, Andrée Lachapelle, is a veteran of many TV series and "would-be soaps" made in Québec - the equivalents of Dynasty, Dallas, Falcon Crest, Knots Landing and all the rest of them, back in the day. She is indeed, among the Québec contingent of lady thespians, the one star that rivals in sheer refinement the likes of Michelle Lee, Linda Evans, Jane Wyman and Linda Gray to name but those. The facts speak for themselves: Mme. Lachapelle was selected to be a part of virtually all the major soaps made in her province of birth - and, when Dino Risi and Vittorio Gassman came to town (Montreal, that is) to shoot their 1979 gem titled "Caro Papà", it was her, the most elegant of all local ladies, that they chose to play the part of Gassman's wife.
There is no one quite like Andrée Lachapelle in all of Québec - not even Élise Guilbeault or Joanne Côté or Isabel Richer match her elegance. And, as for her elegance, she seems to be eternal. That explains in part how she could play here, in 1996, at 65 years of age, the love interest of a man half her age (played by the usually fiendish Normand D'Amour - she was born in 1931 and he in 1962!) The catch here is that the love triangle is completed by Mireille Deyglun - real-life daughter of a Janine Sutto who has aged much less gracefully - but here, she is playing the part of Mme. Lachapelle's own daughter. Mother and daughter loving the same man - how intriguing. How unique a situation. How very soapish.
All the elegance of Andrée Lachapelle, the refinement of the very aristocratic (by birth) Mireille Deyglun and the amazing and diversified supporting cast (which includes a plethora of local talent, such as Alexis Martin, Francine Ruel, Élise Guilbeault herself, Ginette Reno and even the boxer turned comedian, Deano Clavet - a plethora that gives one a very accurate overview of the sad state of affairs in Montreal, Québec indeed!) could NOT save this watered-down semi-thriller (which does involve blackmail eventually) from sinking rather slowly - and painfully.
Francine Ruel is more of a Québec TV version of Rosie O'Donnell (minus the loudmouth) than a fine actress; Ginette Reno is more of a singer than a thespian too... They are both adequate here though.
Kudos to Jean-Pierre Bergeron and Jacques Godin for making the most out of their roles as well.
Blackmail, unlikely love triangles, may-December romance, shady characters and going-ons, betrayal, sex, lies and cheap production values (not videotape, but it could easily have been!) As I recall, this was a privately financed one-time production made for TQS - it needed to have as many sensationalistic elements as possible, TQS being renowned for being "the black sheep of television" (as a matter of fact, it's their slogan.)
If you like outlandish soap-operas, daytime or prime time (and this was made for prime time) - you'll like this, I guess...
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