Carnal Innocence (2011)
"Carnal Innocence" is the 8th adaptation of a Nora Roberts's novel which I have watched and to be honest when you have watched a few of these adaptations they become a little bit samey. You may get a different facade, a different town and different characters but the formula of murder, mystery and romance ends up very familiar. That's not to say it isn't entertaining because "Carnal Innocence" is on par with many of these other Nora Roberts' adaptations with the same positives and negatives but it is a case that you will watch it and then forget it.
Concert violinist Caroline (Gabrielle Anwar - The Three Musketeers), in need of a break decides to move into her late grandmother's home in the Mississippi town of Innocence. But she finds herself immediately in the thick of things when not one but two dead bodies show up in the lake in the garden and the law believe a serial killer maybe in operation. Not only that the dead women just happen to be girlfriends of Caroline's neighbour the stupidly wealthy Tucker Longstreet (Colin Egglesfield - Must Love Dogs) who enjoys living off of the wealth he and his brother and sister have inherited. But despite being initially suspicious of Tucker Caroline ends up warming to him especially when she discovers his good side.
So as already mentioned "Carnal Innocence" has a very similar feel to the other Nora Roberts' adaptations and it starts with Caroline moving into her late Grandmother's home in the small town of Innocence. Then we get the equally familiar storyline which has women being murdered and we meet various men who could be the killer including Tucker Longstreet who despite a less than favourable meeting with Caroline end up becoming close. We get another dead body showing up the finger of suspicion pointing at someone else all the time we have Tucker and Caroline becoming very close. And then of course the mystery is solved, the serial killer's identity is revealed and hey ho peace falls on Innocence.
Now that may sound like I am being a bit disparaging and to be honest I am because it is for the most the same as the other movie adaptations of Nora Roberts' novels and so once you've seen a few of them you realise it is almost the same story. And as such the same issues which spoil the other movies also spoil "Carnal Knowledge" especially when it comes to not only who the serial killer is but also motives for other actions. Let's put it this way there is a scene where the brakes on Tucker's car are tampered with, the motive for which is never really made clear or if it was it was it was skimmed over very quickly.
Now one thing you are either going to love or hate is Colin Egglesfield as Tucker Longstreet because there are times when he oozes the cockiness and confidence of a young Tom Cruise and it gets a little cheesy. But then Egglesfield works well with Gabrielle Anwar who does a nice job of playing Caroline, not the most believable of characters but one which thanks to Anwar is likeable. In fact pretty much all the cast do reasonable jobs with characters which are quite flat, yes even the serial killer's character is quite flat.
What this all boils down to is that "Carnal Innocence" is an enjoyable TV movie and an okay adaptation of one of Nora Robert's novels. But despite a different town, different characters and a different killer it does feel very similar to the other Roberts' adaptations and as such for those who have watched a few of these other movies may end up disappointed.
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