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Mail Order Bride (2008)

TV Movie  |  Western  |  8 November 2008 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.6/10 from 299 users  
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Diana McQueen notorious con-woman has had enough. She leaves town and her boss, Tom Rourke, behind. She takes the place of her dying friend, who was to become some man's mail-order bride. Can she pull off this last con?



, (as Neal Dobrofsky)
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Title: Mail Order Bride (TV Movie 2008)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Diana McQueen
Tom Rourke
Beau Canfield
G. Patrick Currie ...
Kelly (as Patrick Currie)
Tom Heaton ...
Aaron Carlyle
Association Rancher
Mrs. Vaughn
Stagecoach Clerk


Diana McQueen notorious con-woman has had enough. She leaves town and her boss, Tom Rourke, behind. She takes the place of her dying friend, who was to become some man's mail-order bride. Can she pull off this last con?

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Release Date:

8 November 2008 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

Daphne Zuniga does her part for sociology
26 June 2012 | by (Waterloo, Iowa) – See all my reviews

I would like to start this review by thanking Daphne Zuniga for serving as a reference guide to exactly how much cosmetic enhancement is used by most women in Hollywood. Zuniga is a beautiful woman who's allowed herself to age more or less naturally and, as such, stands in great contrast to other actresses who've used every nip, tuck and injection they could to pass for 33 as long as they can. I mean, when you look at Zuniga in this Hallmark Channel flick and then take a look at, say, Jennifer Aniston, it becomes clear that Aniston must bathe in the blood of virgins every night. If the burden of most actors is they look too young to play grown men (I'm looking at you, 50 year old Tom Cruise), so many actresses get themselves their own Dorian Gray painting at 29 and after that, the only thing that ages on them is the look in their eyes. The result is that American pop culture has lost all sense of perspective when it comes to women and appropriate age. Whenever there's a 20something actress playing a daughter and a 40something playing the mother, there's this Judd-effect where they look more like sisters. They say there's no great roles for women over 40 but even if you came up with one, where would you find an actress who looks the part?

Putting all that aside, Mail Order Bride is a by-the-numbers romance that's effectively clichéd until it erupts like a geyser of suck at the end. Most of the movie is extremely predictable and dramatically shallow. That doesn't mean it's unenjoyable. If you like this sort of formula, watching Zuniga and Cameron Bancroft act it out is not a bad way to spend an hour. That last half hour…yeesh, it is so bad. You can almost literally see the filmmakers grabbing at straws to try and keep the story going until the end credits blessedly arrive to put them out of their misery. If you can make any sort of logical sense out of the 24 hour long siege at the conclusion of Mail Order Bride, you're a lot smarter than I am.

Diana McQueen (Daphne Zuniga) is a thief in 1888 who flees from her criminal master (Greg Evigan) by impersonating a dead friend who was the mail order bride of Beau Canfield (Cameron Bancroft), a lonely rancher who has spent way too much time with his crotchety cook (Tom Heaton). Diana makes her way from Boston to a small frontier town and fools Beau for a while. He eventually figures it out and puts Diana to work as a farm hand. Then Diana's boss shows up to reclaim her, she and Beau admit they really love each other and I hope I don't shock you by admitting they live happily ever after.

Zuniga and Bancroft are perfectly charming and the relationship between their characters, while old hat, is soothingly simplistic. If you've ever seen a Hallmark Channel movie before, you pretty much know what you're getting here. Except for the finish, which gets to be almost laugh-out-loud funny at seeing all these previously random plot points brought back up just to kill time and stretch this thing out to fill two hours with commercials.

Maybe with those breaks at the end to keep the increasingly silly nature of the standoff between Diana and Beau vs. Diana's boss and his hired guns, Mail Order Bride didn't come of quite as ridiculous on TV. When you see it all run together at once, there are so many "what the hell" moments that it almost appears as if something happened to make their original ending scenes impossible to do, so the cast and crew had to improvise something else at the last minute. Whatever the reason, the last half hour of Mail Order Bridge is so bizarrely incompetent that it knocks an otherwise mediocre flick into the "skip it" pile. Unless you're doing a term paper on "Female Aging in Early 21st Century American Entertainment", that is.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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