31 January 2005 | style-2
Better than it had to be...
Not bad at all a movie starring Joan Collins always has the possibility of being a dicey affair, and she may have produced and starred in this one, but that doesn't stop it from being a charming, mannered comedy of errors. Collins has some big IL' surprises up her sleeve for us for her first trick, she does not play Alexis Carrington, or any variation on her, in this movie. And, as if that weren't earth-shattering enough, she I kid you not plays a woman approximately her own age, who also looks her age. That's right, no black eyeliner and no raven tresses. It is amazing. Don't get me wrong, though we're still dealing with Joan Collins here, so she's still pretty glam, in her own way, and certainly her character is as over-the-top as any Joan Collins character is supposed to be but she actually acts as part of an ensemble in which she is not center stage at all times. Set in a spectacular 17th century country estate, Stanway House, with all the requisite gorgeous accoutrement, the film does exceptionally well on what was obviously not an enormous budget. The costumes, hair and makeup are beautiful, and though the story gets somewhat messy in the middle of the film, the cinematography and art direction keep the eye glued to the screen. The supporting cast also serves the film well, with a variety of skilled actors who make the best out of minor roles. It is a fun movie to watch and it looks like the kind of movie that the cast and crew had a great deal of fun making. This is a valuable quality that is imparted in the finished product, and makes it easy to overlook any weaknesses.