3 November 2001 | petershelleyau
was it rape or seduction?
Even given that the screenplay by Richard Cassidy is based on a novel by Danielle Steel, director Adrian Carr creates the depth of a TV commercial. Made in the era when Australians thought they had to import American stars to give their product international appeal, Cheryl Ladd plays the American wife of novelist Robert Coleby. Coleby's English accent another form of throwback, where Australians spoke in English accents to show that they remain civilised in the primitive colony. The narrative focuses on Coleby being accused of the rape of Christine Amor. Carr establishes that Coleby is innocent, but he is convicted even when the prosecution only have circumstantial evidence. But whilst the trial is a farce, we know Coleby must suffer for betraying Ladd, who appears in a series of unflattering clothes. At least in her testimony, Amor conveys some real emotion, which is something one can hardly accuse Ladd or Coleby of. Coleby in particular is presented bare-chested a lot, presumably to give him a Robert Redford kind of appeal. The universe portrayed here is so conventional that we are supposed to find Coleby living as a writer as a "kept man" by Ladd's successful boutique Lady Jane "unconventional", though what is more unbelievable is the kind of prison he ends up in, with no cells and resembling a boy's camp. Carr provides a laughable montage of Coleby pre-trial writing in various hardbourside locations, and has him and Ladd talking over each other to show their breakdown in communications. Ladd's drunk scene isn't bad enough to be self-parody and the level of her risk taking is making her character a smoker.