Everything to Gain (1996)
The last movie I watched which had the words "Barbara Taylor Bradford's" preceding the title took me by surprise as it was very different to what I had been expecting. It is because of that I sat down to watch "Barbara Taylor Bradford's Everything to Gain" not entirely sure what to expect; would it be something dramatic and dark or would it be melodramatic and cloying. Well "Everything to Gain" is extremely cloying especially the beginning which for the more cynical amongst you will have you reaching for the off button. But get beyond what is for me a terrible start and there is reasonable movie, in fairness still a cheesy and overly melodramatic one but one which finds its soul.
When Mallory Jordan (Sean Young - Ace Ventura: Pet Detective) meets Andrew Keswick (Charles Shaughnessy - Love's Christmas Journey) the owner of the advertising business where she works they just click and after a few dates are getting married. 6 years later and everything is perfect with twin daughters and having moved from the city to a home in the country. But then there was a knock at the door, on the way to their grandmothers with the twins Andrew and the twins are killed in a car jacking. It is how Mallory first met Detective Michael DeMarco (Jack Scalia - Runaway Father) who was the one who had to break to her the bad news. But tragedy comes in more than ones and shortly after burying her family Mallory discovers she is pregnant but suffers a miscarriage. Feeling like she has nothing left to live for she even tries to take her own life. But her friends, hers and Andrew's parents plus detective DeMarco are there for her.
So the start of "Everything to Gain" is bad, simply shockingly bad as we have the excruciating set up of Mallory and Andrew falling in love, having a beautiful wedding and the perfect marriage where Andrew buys Mallory gifts just because and the children are excited when he walks in the door of an evening. It is so full of fake romance and even worse dialogue that I was debating whether to persist or just cut my losses at just 10 minutes especially when on their wedding day we get the cheesy line of "have I told you today how much I love you".
Thankfully whilst "Everything to Gain" still keeps an element of melodrama and cheesy running through it the movie does find its soul. That soul comes firstly from "shit happens to good people" syndrome as Mallory loses the baby and in doing so is unable to turn up to the court case to convict one of the men involved in the crime leading to the case being dismissed. I wouldn't say there is much depth in this but watching how Mallory is ready to give up, clinging to Andrew's and their daughter's voices on the answer phone and much more at least starts to create a more realistic character who wants to die.
Unfortunately it then heads back towards the unbelievable when after various trauma's and a dream of Andrew and her children coming to her Mallory sets about getting to grips with her life and getting just for the murder of her family. It becomes a bit far fetched when she goes calling on a witness who saw the crime from her window but it also brings her back in touch with DeMarco and it is pretty obvious how things are going to play out at this point.
The thing about "Everything to Gain" is that the main cast are likeable. When Sean Young as Mallory delivers over the top giggly romance she is adorable even if the dialogue is terrible and when we have her sinking into depression you feel for her. And as for Jack Scalia well his job is to play the handsome and concerned cop which he does well and works well with Young to make a nice looking.... possible couple.
What this all boils down to is that I have mixed feelings about "Everything to Gain" as it has a reasonable storyline which has some realistic moments. But it also has an incredibly cheesy side which is worst right at the start which for anyone the least bit cynical makes it laughable.
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