'Fresh Horses' takes an ancient story, runs it through the ringer and presents it in a washed out production with attractive actors playing dress up and moving like cattle through the strains of a predictable story. Do I sound too negative? When I see the same movie retreading the same ground that so many have gone over in mostly unsuccessful movies, you bet.
Andrew McCarthy Plays Matt, a rich kid who is about to marry a crushing bore for no other reason than to make some money for the family. While settling into this idea he meets Jewel (Molly Ringwald), a poor-white-trash country girl with a modest southern twang and enough domestic problems to land her on a week's worth of guest shots on Jerry Springer.
In the right roles, I like Molly Ringwald but here she plays a country gal so wounded that I didn't want her to get married as much I wanted to see her get some therapy. McCarthy, who has a kind face and never seems to rush any performance runs the gamut of expressions from A to B, but that's not his fault, the movie doesn't give him much to work with. I liked both of them in 'Pretty in Pink' because the screenplay gave three dimensional characters and a story that was worth their time (and ours). Here they are placed in front of the camera, look at each other with smoldering eyes and don't give us the slightest notion of why they are attracted to one another. Even the photography looks tired. It looks washed out and some darker shot scenes are too light. Even Ringwald's red puffy lips look pale.
Will Michael give up his shot at marrying the bore and lose his money, his friends and their respect. Or will he stay with Jewel and enjoy the splendor happiness and love? This story was old when Edith Warton told it in 'The Age of Innocence'.
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