A Risk Worth Taking (2008)
Take The Risk
"A Risk Worth Taking" is a bit of a hidden gem, not a great movie but a pleasant surprise especially for one made for TV. It is rather obvious a wife nursing her terminally ill husband finds herself falling for his friend and struggling with the sense of betrayal by having these feelings but it has a sense of beauty about it. You have the stunning beauty of an isolated part of Scotland, you have the beauty of the relationships as well as the touching story of a husband and father dealing with his demise. Yes "A Risk Worth Taking" is very sentimental, in fact there are moments of romance which border on the cheesy but the simplicity and beauty of "A Risk Worth Taking" wins you over.
With his life slowly coming to an end, terminally ill Patrick Trenchard (James Wilby - A Handful of Dust) suggests to his wife Katie (Muriel Baumeister) that they invite his old friend Dan (Tim Dutton - The Bourne Identity) and his daughter Josie (Olivia Hallinan) to come up to their home in Scotland to help in the sale of Katie's clothing business. But not only does Dan fall in love with life up in the beautiful corner of Scotland but he starts to have feelings for Katie as she does for him.
Now for those who come to watch "A Risk Worth Taking" because they have read else where it is the story of a man dying from a debilitating illness which affects the nervous system don't expect any depth to this side of the movie. We do witness how Patrick's health declines, he has good days and bad and how it is an emotional struggle for him and his wife Katie, especially as they try and shield their young daughter Isla from the truth but don't expect too much gritty realism. And on that note don't expect anything close to a debate about whether a man losing control of his body should be allowed to die because whilst this illness is the catalyst for the story it is not an in depth examination of it.
What that does mean is that "A Risk Worth Taking" is a movie about relationships with Patrick's wife Katie at the centre of much of the drama as she feels drawn towards Patrick's friend Dan but also a sense of loyalty towards Patrick. We watch as something forms between Dan and Katie following his arrival after Patrick called him to come up and help with the business. There are tender moments where both feel an attraction towards each other but daren't act and when their feelings become stronger you have Katie dealing with a sense of self loathing for even having feelings for another man. It is very simple, not that original but actually very beautiful, sympathetic to the story of Patrick dying and you almost get a sense that Patrick knowing he was dying invited Dan up to take his place when he dies.
At the same time as the romantic drama between Patrick, Katie and Dan there is also a romance between Dan's daughter Josie and waiter Antonio, a rather routine teen romance with teen turmoil. But this also allows us to see how Josie handles watching her father fall for Katie, fearing that she will lose him to another woman having been so close for the past 8 years since her mother died. It is again not that original and a little sentimental but it adds to the charm of this romantic drama giving it another angle to stop it from just being one sided.
What certainly helps make "A Risk Worth Taking" charming is that it is set in one of the most beautiful settings I have seen and we have an absolute gorgeous corner of Scotland. From the beautiful beach to Patrick and Katie's home right next to it is stunning and so is when we get taken into the town which is just as charming. Throw in some lovely moments of amusement with a rival restaurant owner causing issues and getting his come-uppance and we have a movie which has just the perfect number of quirky smile moments.
Now to be honest the acting in "A Risk Worth Taking" isn't brilliant almost every actor has a moment of cheesiness but Muriel Baumeister as Katie, Tim Dutton as Dan and Olivia Hallinan as Josie all deliver solid performances and get across the emotional nature of the story. But it is James Wilby as Patrick who stands out because of his characterisation of a man who is suffering from a fatal illness is moving not just because he gets across the debilitating nature as his muscles waste away but he gets the wistfulness of the character spot on. The moments where he is watching his daughter Isla knowing that there won't be many more are remarkably touching because of the honest look on Wilby's face but also the moments when he gets to laugh and enjoy life are just as touching.
What this all boils down to is "A Risk Worth Taking" is a surprisingly charming movie which has such a sense of beauty about it that it is hard not to enjoy it. Yes it's not gritty considering the story and yes it's sentimental occasionally bordering on the cheesy but it is touching for all the right reasons.
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