Sunday, April 5, 2009

High Noon; or How high do I have to be to like this?

Yeah, sorry about that.

After watching most of "Lifetime Presents the World Premiere of Nora Roberts' High Noon" (their emphasis, not mine), I wish I had a gun so I could take some hostages. Unfamiliar? Let me explain.

High Noon is the story of Phoebe MacNamara, played by Emilie deRavin, gun totin' single Mom of sweet little Carly, daughter of an agoraphobic Cybill Shepherd, primary hostage negotiator in Savannah...Georgia presumably. Phoebe's car needs to be fixed ($400) and her ceiling is leaking ($600) and needs new pipes throughout the house (don't even make me tell you what that will cost). She meets bar owner Duncan Hottie (forgot his last name) and they click. We find out in short order that Duncan won $100M in the lottery a few years back and runs a couple of bars...because he's a nice guy.

Played hotly by Ivan Sergei, we should all have a little Duncan in our lives. I will refrain from posting the incredibly lewd pun that my fingers are just itching to type. It's Sunday, afterall.

Anyway, this connection with Duncan is a little remarkable, since little Phoebles seems to have serious man issues. I imagine it all started when she was 12 and her Mom's boyfriend took her whole family hostage. Phoebes put sleeping pills in his food expertly diffusing the situation. (I guess if I was Mom, I'd be afraid to go outside after that too). Later in life Phoebe marries a creep who abandons her and their one year old baby, doesn't pay support and doesn't contact the kid. Niiiiice. Then, there's this disgruntled uniform who has issues reporting to a woman (likes 'em booby and stupid I guess; such depth of character) who beats the snot out of Lieutenant MacNamara and tosses her down a stairwell. He gets off with some probation. The coup de gras is the psychotic cop sniper albeit accomplished photographer, who holds a grudge against the lieutenant because a hostage taker killed the chick he was banging.

It's a real mystery why she doesn't get many dates.

Lifetime had been touting the "2009 Nora Roberts Collection" for a while and since I'm such a fan of J.D. Robb and the "In Death..." series, I thought I'd check out how one of her books translated to the screen. I think that the "In Death..." series would make good television. And I like Nora Roberts - I really do. I promise I was giving it some slack - there are limitations to the medium. Limitations to character development and plot depth and blabbity blahhhhhh.

I was disappointed in most of it and could see where it was going early on - how they were setting up Meeks (disgruntled booby loving cop) as the bad guy of the whole piece when in actuality it was someone else with an axe to grind. How Duncan Hottie was every woman's version of the perfect guy, "I re-hired Suicide Joe, the one you talked off the roof. He's in therapy, seemed like the right thing." or better: "Wait, the flowers aren't for you, they're for your sweet little daughter Carly!" Awwwwwwwww. Every woman needs a little Duncan. Did I say that already? Sigh* We all need a little obscenely wealthy nice guy who likes our kid and is nice to our crazy mom.

But I lost interest when she was talking down psycho sniper at the end; recreated here, tongue in cheek:

Psycho-Sniper Jerry: "The security officer has a new jacket on, Lieutenant. I don't think he likes it."
Phoebes: "Have you wired him with a timed incendiary device Jerry? Is it connected to the pocket of his with little silver buttons and wired up to a box you created in your own garage? Where you keep photos of me and my hot boyfriend, Jerry? "
Psycho-Jerry: "You're quick Lieutenant"

Lke I said, I wanted to see how Roberts' stuff translated to the screen. Sadly, not well. I immediately was forced to compare Phoebe to JD Robb's Eve Dallas. Both strong women, both lieutenants, but that was where the similarity ended. There wasn't the strength of character and toughness that Dallas has - Phoebe was certainly more needy. Which is ok. This isn't Eve Dallas and Duncan Hottie, though hot and wealthy, is no Roarke.

"High Noon", though I had some aspirations for it, was exactly what I imagined most Lifetime Movie Network movies are - cookie cutter. I was disappointed. The good news is, I won't be watching anymore of the "2009 Nora Roberts Collection" on Lifetime.

I talked myself off that wall.


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