Reckless (1997– )
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Quirky guitar music added to the story as well.
While I have been a fan of Ms. Annis' since 'Lillie' (in the '70s) and Mr. Kitchen's since 'The Buccaneers' and 'Enchanted April', I have only recently discovered Mr. Green ('Me and Mrs. Jones', 'Touching Evil', etc.), making me ask the question - why had I not seen 'Reckless' until recently??!! Admittedly more of a 'chick flick' than something a man will sit through, it is perfect for a rainy afternoon's lazy viewing.
Green is Owen Springer, a young surgeon who takes a job in his home town of Manchester so that he can take care of his father (Bradley). He meets a woman on a train, Anna Fairley Crane, who lends him her phone, and finds out that they work in the same hospital, she in a management position. For Owen, it's love at first sight, though as he describes her later, she's "forty-odd" (Annis was actually 52 at the time of the series; Green was 33). Then he finds out that she's married to his boss (Michael Kitchen). His friends and fellow doctors (Julian Rhind-Tutt and Conor Mullen) are dead against it and are afraid he's headed for big trouble. He is.
Really grand series elevated by wonderful acting. Annis is gorgeous, Green is one of Britain's sexiest actors, and Michael Kitchen is fantastic as Anna's husband, and David Bradley hands in a marvelous performance as Owen's dad. Rhind-Tutt, whom I remember from Keen Eddie) and Mullen are hilarious. Everyone is very committed to their roles.
The series brings up a few things, not the least of which is the non-acceptance of an older woman and a younger man - this is 1997 -- now it's not unheard of. Also, it brings up the question of true love versus sexual/physical attraction. People in the series keep pointing out that Owen and Anna's relationship may be okay now, but what about in ten or twenty years, indicating that Owen would no longer find her sexy -- as if outward beauty and sexiness are the only reasons one falls in love. And, in fact, Owen would be older as well, but it's assumed he's still going to be sexy. As a bit of trivia, Annis is now 68 or thereabouts and still beautiful. Also, she had a 12-year relationship with Ralph Fiennes, 17 years her junior (I saw them together in Hamlet some years ago)
The other situation in the film is the class distinction, still prevalent in Britain, Robson with his working-class accent and beer-drinking father, involved with the glamorous administrator Annis, married to a highly-successful surgeon.
So though "Reckless" seems like just a romance, it actually, seen today, brings up some provocative questions. I liked it, and I look forward to the sequel.
As for the first two episodes, there were some fun sex scenes, and PLENTY of steamy Robson Green. But the third episode was late coming from Netflix, and by the time it got here I had almost lost all interest in finding out what happened to these characters. I did stick it out but I just can't help feeling that Francesca Annis's character was too two dimensional she just flitted from man to man without ever really defining herself. She was right to be angry that all the men in her life just went ahead with what THEY wanted. But I never found out what she wanted, either! And Owen Springer never really said WHY he loved her, or what he thought their life would be like together...I felt like I was watching what might have happened if Benjamin Braddock (The Graduate) had stayed with Mrs. Robinson, or if the boy from Summer of '42 stayed with the lady from the beach . I'm not ageist or anything: there is a fourteen-year age difference between me and my spouse! But as much as I tried, this movie just didn't do it for me.
The BEST part of Reckless was, as other reviewers have pointed out, David Bradley's performance as Robson Green's dad. His understated performance just wipes away anyone else on the screen with him. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.
Now, unlike most reviewers, I rather enjoyed the sequel. Here at last was real villainy! Here was a galloping pace! Here was more David Bradley! I would recommend this title only to big Robson Green/Michael Kitchen/Masterpiece Theater fans.