Double Feature

August 2015 - Consider this month's column something along the lines of #TBT (that's Throwback Thursday, in case you're not familiar with social media shorthand). For your reading pleasure, then, here are reviews of two movies that I watched on television in 2005!

The first to cross my 4x3, non-HD-screen was Listen to Your Heart. After former Charlie's Angel Kate Jackson came back to earth, and after Tim Matheson graduated from Animal House, the two met in this 1983 made-for-TV romance.

Jackson plays a career gal who's just ended a six-year relationship with her boss. She's now moving in with her party girl lawyer best friend and is determined to have some fun herself. The two go out to a Chicago singles bar, where they pick up Tim Matheson and his buddy. Kate goes home with Tim but nothing happens because she’s drunk and he's a gentleman. Neither expects to see the other again, but this being a made-for-TV movie, of course they do!

Overall review: Ehhh, it was OK. Big hair, headbands, short shorts, singles bars. It is what it is: An acceptable way to kill 1:45 on a Saturday afternoon when you've slept in, you don't feel much like cleaning, and there's nothing else on.

A couple days later, I channel surfed my way to When Night is Falling. The plot of this 1995 Canadian film goes something like this: Preacher's daughter falls in love with lesbian, runs away to join the circus. That's pretty much it, with some funky acrobatics thrown in for good measure.

I missed the first few minutes of the movie, but it wasn't hard to pick up the plot. Rachael Crawford, who I recognized from the Canadian TV show E.N.G., plays Petra, a member of what appears to be the Canadian version of Cirque du Soleil. She goes to a laundromat, where she meets Camille, the preacher's kid, who teaches mythology at a Christian college. They each take home the other's laundry. Oops! But, when Preacher's Kid goes to the circus to return the clothes, Petra admits that the mix-up was no accident.

PK now has a problem. She's attracted to Petra, but she's been dating this guy from the college for three years, plus she's up for a promotion. Scratch that when the committee asks her about her views on homosexuality and she basically says it's not a mortal sin.

Like the trapeze in the circus, PK goes back and forth between being hot for Petra and giving her the cold shoulder so she can keep her job. It all comes to a head when Petra tells PK that the circus is leaving town.

Overall review: Ehhh, it was OK. Interesting and not too preachy. But, I think the director couldn't decide whether to play this one straight, so to speak, or make an art film. She erred on the side of the art film, and I think that was a mistake. Having said that, the visual imagery is kind of cool. The film was given an NC-17 rating but was ultimately released into theaters unrated. An R-rated version was later released on video.