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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Lifetime channel aired this in October but I only got around to watching it now. It's the old eternal triangle again small-town Connecticut boy Dave Ford (Matt Long) has a quick fling with his best friend's girlfriend, Emily Darrow (Emmanuelle Chriqui), on the eve of his departure for law school in New York, thinks about her for the next five years while he isn't doing contracts and briefs, runs into her again when he returns home after the death of his father on the eve of a big exam five years later, and gets involved with her romantically again. But director and co-writer Matthew Cole Weiss goes way over the top, framing the whole thing in flashback as Dave confesses to murdering Emily, her husband and another one of her lovers in front of (here comes the spoiler) a Lesbian cop who's also a flame of Emily's. Weiss overdoes the "flanging" effect by which Dave gets to see chunks of his previous life flash before his eyes even before he's actually dead, cutting those in even while Dave and Emily are having sex and thereby ruining the soft-core porn shots that give even some otherwise pretty lame Lifetime movies at least a bit of audience appeal. I couldn't help but flash back myself to James M. Cain and how much better he wrote women like this in his classic thrillers (all adapted into hit movies) "The Postman Always Rings Twice," "Double Indemnity" and "Mildred Pierce." It also doesn't help that the film ends with the bad guys (the bad girls, actually) triumphant and the decent, if naïve and stupid, hero seemingly on his way to the lethal injection table or that the actors playing the people Dave and Emily are cheating on are both better looking than they are. Incidentally, though this film went straight to cable in the U.S. there were some blank spots on the soundtrack indicating where swear words were blipped, so I presume this got a theatrical release somewhere in the world.
All I can say is, this movie is made for the Lifetime Channel on TV,
which means no solid characters, no particular style, weak acting all
kinds of suggested sex but no-breasts and tushs (because boy, that
would just catapult the film into the depths of sleaze wouldn't it?)
but the heavily simulated sex, well, that's OK.
When watching these films I have to ask myself, when will these types of TV channels and their advertisers ever grow up? I think these companies are actually way behind the times. They really have no clue what the younger generation is in tune with and if they knew they would demand we change. The whole point of many American TV channels like these seems mostly to regurgitate the same sanitized, diluded garbage over and over like a generic movie assembly line. I guess it works for them... or at least it has. Not sure about the future though.
Don't bore yourself to death like I did. Seek out some real TV movies on HBO, Showtime, IFC, Starz, etc. Any channel that puts effort into their work and doesn't have to ask a priest what they can or cannot show.
Matt Long has a strong attraction for his best friend's (Luke Mably)
girl friend (Emmanuelle Chriqui) with whom he makes love. But she stops
the relationship at a one night stand, saying that she was drunk and
she's marrying Luke and he has the money to take care of her. Matt goes
away to become a lawyer and finds another girl friend. Five years pass.
Matt's father dies and Matt goes back home for the first time. Chriqui
still has the hots for him (so it seems) and he for her.
All of this we learn in flashback for Matt is under arrest for (apparently) the murder of Chriqui. Things get a lot more complex than this because there are several other suspects and because Matt seems to attract homicides the way a magnet attracts iron.
This story kept me attentive until the end and the twists (doublecrosses and cross-plots) were plausible, given that we are dealing with some manipulative people of less than sterling moral character.
Are there some plot holes? I'd have to watch it again to be sure there are or are not. There quite probably are. Most such stories have them. After the fact, I can imagine how one apparent hole might have been worked out logically off screen, but I'm not sure my imagining or figuring is correct.
The acting sufficed. The hero at least got out of town and made good faith efforts to get the woman off his mind, but I'd have to admit that this was not easy to do when she comes on to him so strongly. Love dies hard. On the other hand, his new girl friend was a solid and attractive lass. But then he had a strong instinct to protect Chriqui from a husband who was apparently abusing her. So that his renewed fall into her arms does make sense.
Overall, it's not a bad film and not a bad film noir storywise. The directing and photography didn't add any impact or originality to it, and that explains my below average rating. Certain flashbacks were repeated, and that detracted. Matt played it a little too much with one expression and acted stunned most of the time and in a daze trying to figure out what had happened to him. The script probably let him down. It could have brought out the ironies of his situation more deeply. As in some other such stories, there seems to be altogether too much willingness of a character to spill everything to the police, with no lawyer present and with no thought of how much they are giving away if charges are brought against them. In real life, it's madness to trust police and talk to them in nearly all circumstances.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I saw this movie considering this as a normal Hollywood movie but then
came to know that its a Movie made for TV channel.On my DVD cover out
of 2 critics comments one of the critic stephen farber from moviline
reveiwed it as A best movie of the Year..
All the character were simple and decent performances except the Brain's character which never gets scope which director wanted to keeps mystery till end.. there was suspense till end but when you see the end that lady Police Officer and main culprit had a Lesbian affair seems to be totally stupid idea.God knows what happens to DAVE the male lead character..
The other Critic from Mr. Brown's Movies said that Shocking and Effective but doesn't quite live up to all the Hype... which i saw after watching the Movie .for which i was partially aggree...i should have read this first before taking the movie..
almost boring, white page for a lot of Hitchcock influences but without the science to use it, interesting actors and poor characters, a labyrinth with not solid walls, it desires present a smart story but , if, few parts can be nice, the whole construction s far t be attractive.one of many dusty movies, without real value but useful to remember old ideas of other directors. and occasion for actors to improve a story , fascinating as idea but not on TV screen. that is all. a film like many others, about nothing and for nobody. the sparkles, love story, pyramid of details are only pebbles in desert. because it is not credible and the script possibilities are almost imaginary. for the desire to be original using, in not inspired manner, old fragments in a chaotic puzzle.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I do not know what some of these filmmakers are thinking, by making the same type of clichéd film over and over, where the bad guys (bad girls in this case) win. Weak acting and very predictable. Nothing original about it. This same movie has been made over and over again- not different from GOODBYE LOVER (1989), SLOW BURN (2005), or at least ten other movies with the exact same storyline and ending. There are a lot of holes in the movie too. It is as if they ran out of money and just stopped filming. Or perhaps they ran out of ideas. But do not waste your time with this one. It will only leave you upset by having wasted your time watching it.
I was watching the beginning of this on a Friday, mid-day, while
working at computer at home, relaxing a bit after a hectic week, and
cleaning-up some files and answering some communications. Got
interrupted a couple of times, so had trouble getting all the details
straight (although it's hardly a work of Hitchcock proportions, where
missing a detail can through the whole story off-kilter), and besides
it was not exactly an "engrossing" piece of work.
So during a commercial, read the only prior comment here (by "mgconlan-1"), and pretty much can agree with its details.
Not quite in the category of a film so awful it is fascinatingly "good," but I'd like to catch on tape when run again (rather than seeing it as aired), so I can fast forward as needed and see the parts which I missed this first time.
Give it a "3*" because of the attractiveness of the four primary characters.
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