A Soapy Murder

Peter Gallagher in An Inconvenient Woman (1991)

Jules Mendelson (Jason Robards) is a well respected billionaire and confidant of the President who has been married to Pauline (Jill Eikenberry) for many years and who as the tabloids report, throws the best socials. But Jules is a man of secrets although his affair with waitress Flo (Rebecca De Mornay) is not one he has managed to keep from Pauline who turns a blind eye to it. But when Hector Paradiso (Paxton Whitehead), a secret homosexual, is murdered it leads to friend of the family and writer Philip Quennell (Peter Gallagher) becomes interested in his murder. But for Flo things take an interesting turn when Jules is diagnosed with cancer and Pauline insists he ends things with her. But with all her knowledge of Jules' secrets makes her an inconvenient woman especially when Jules receives a blackmail phone call involving a woman who fell from a balcony.

"An Inconvenient Woman" TV mini-series/ TV movie is the sort of production you will either love or hate with it clearly being heavily influenced in style by the soaps of the late 80s and early 90s. Now I grew up on the likes of "Dallas", "Dynasty" and "Knots Landing" but having watched "An Inconvenient Woman" a couple of times, once a long time ago and now more recently I can't say the melodramatic production did a lot for me and found it a case of trying too hard to be trashy. It gives it a feeling of forced especially when it comes to the acting with many involved trying too hard to capture a style which doesn't come naturally to them especially Jill Eikenberry who seems like she thought she was in a 1960s melodrama.

Rebecca De Mornay in An Inconvenient Woman (1991)

The annoying thing is that the storyline is a nice tawdry story of wealth, secrets, sex and suspicion with murders and double crosses. But we then have that noir, private eye style voice over as writer Philip Quennell frequently gives us some descriptive/ hack like prose which whilst working for some only ends up annoying the daylights out of me. It is one of those things you either love or hate and frankly I hate it with it contributing to making this feel all the more forced as it reaches for a style but never finds it naturally.

What this all boils down to is that "An Inconvenient Woman" is in fairness a product of its time with its soap opera melodrama. But for some reason this feels like it is forcing that style and coming across as unnatural from start to finish. In truth the only really positive thing about "An Inconvenient Woman" is an entertaining and seductive performance from Rebecca De Mornay who looks like she was having a laugh rather than taking this seriously.

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