Saturday, November 10, 2007

It's The Cheesiest ...

I'm a three-at-a-time Netflix gal. And the other day, I received three DVDs in the mail. Except I already had one sitting on my coffee table.

Weird, I thought. Did Netflix up me to the four-at-a-time tier without telling me? A one-time promotion? A "Hey, winter is just around the bend and we know you're going to be plopping your lazy ass on the couch more in the coming months" temptation?

Nah. I think it was just a mistake. Especially when I opened the envelope – which was, in fact, addressed to me – to find Danielle Steel's Safe Harbour.


I checked my queue. Had I been sleepwalking? Am I prone to adding film adaptations of cheesy romance novels while unconscious?

Apparently not, no. As Danielle Steel had not been – nor will she ever be – intentionally placed in my queue. I will take this moment to boast that I've never read a Danielle Steel novel. Judith Krantz, yes. Danielle Steel, no. And Judith Krantz was for a college course.

No, seriously.

So I presumed that some woman, somewhere (or maybe a gay man – or maybe a straight man, who am I to judge?) was being deprived of their Danielle Steel selection through the error of a Netflix shipping clerk.

Oh well. But, you know, as long as it was in my house, I figured I'd pop it in. Out of curiosity. Movie-making curiosity. Screenwriting curiosity.

Of course, I was able to lay out the entire plot in the first 10 minutes. It's based on a romance novel. I mean, come on. How complex can it be?

Melissa Gilbert plays Ophelia, whose name is pronounced Ophelie, or maybe that's her nickname. She's supposed to be French, but in the first few moments of hearing her dialogue, I was sure I was hearing a Russian accent. Russia. France. They have so much in common.

Ophelie sleeps a lot. She's depressed because her husband and son died when their small plane exploded. We, of course, are informed of this through a dream sequence during one of Ophelie's many naps. But when she wakes up, just as the plane explodes, the look on her face doesn't say, "Ohmygod! How horrible that I have just dreamt of the death of my husband and son!" Her face says, "Oh, I'm awake again. Did I defrost the chicken for dinner?"

Ophelie, in her depression, does a fine job of ignoring her daughter, Pip. So Pip befriends Matt, an artist she meets on the beach while walking her dog, Mousse. (Pip and Ophelie don't live on the beach, they're just spending the summer there, coping with their loss. And the name of the beach town is, of course, Safe Harbour.) At first, Ophelie gets very angry when she sees Matt with Pip and confronts him, yelling something like, "There are words for men like you! Very bad words!" At which point I yelled at my TV, "Are all French women insane?!" (Those of you who know me well know where that's coming from.)

But gee, do you think, eventually, that Ophelie and Matt will fall in love? Do you think that he might be the safe harbour she seeks when she learns – SPOILER ALERT, in case this post thus far had convinced you to rent this baby – that her husband and her best friend were having an affair, and that William, the best friend's baby, is actually ... dun, dun, dun ... Ted's child? And do you think that Ophelie might find a letter from the best friend in the pocket of Ted's cardigan sweater that describes that whole affair very neatly when she's finally ready to pack away his things? And do you think that Ophelie will tell her "friend" to never speak to her again? And do you think that Ophelie will have her own brush with death when she gets shot while trying to help homeless people? And do you think that the friend will end up dying of cancer and ask Ophelie, who is recovering from her gunshot wounds, to take William when she dies? And do you think Ophelie and Matt will end up getting married on the beach, the beach of Safe Harbour?

Yes, I invested 1 hour and 50 minutes of my life in Safe Harbour but it was worth it, even as I repeatedly said out loud, "I can't believe I'm watching this!", because I got to stare at Brad Johnson. Hello, nurse! Male nurse! This still is from another movie, but it's the same face I stared at for the better part of two hours tonight. He is the cover of a romance novel come to life: tall and handsome with dark, wavy hair, oh so sensitive, romantic, artistic, and gallant.

You know: fiction.

: o )


Anonymous Alison said...

Oh, man. I almost want to watch this. Almost.

11:09 PM  
Blogger Mercurie said...

I have to hand it to you. I wouldn't have given it a chance. It would have gone straight back into the Netflix envelope and straight back to the mailbox....

10:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or I might have accidentally placed it under my jeep only to accidentally run over it hopefully, I mean accidentally shattering it into one thousand or more pieces.

1:16 PM  

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