The Deadly Look of Love (2000)
A Bubbly Bunny Boiler
Janet (Jordan Ladd) is a very positive young woman who despite having an affair with the married Jerry (Roman Podhora) still believes he will leave his wife for her. It is why Jerry persuades his friend Brett (Vincent Spano) to get her off his case and after staging an accident starts a relationship with her. But then Brett has enough of her loved up clingy-ness and comes clean and tells Janet that not only is he engaged to be married but her did this for Jerry. Shortly after not only does Jerry die in a fire but Brett's new wife is found murdered in her bedroom. With Brett pointing the finger of blame at Janet she finds herself arrested for murder but with a lawyer who thinks she is innocent and is set on proving it.
Within minutes of "The Deadly Look of Love" starting you find yourself not only cringing at what is going on but thinking there must be more to this than first meets the eye. It is because of this combination of phoney characters with what seems far too unsubtly obvious drama that you keep watching wondering where it might go or because you enjoy the plethora of badness which is going on.
That badness is this almost spoof melodramatic style where we have the bright as a button Janet who writes her thoughts about romance in her diary each night, we hear these in an excruciating narration, we see her reading trashy romance novels and is so innocent and naive that she can't spot that not only is Jerry a leopard skin print wearing jerk but Brett is as phoney as baloney. All of which must be intentionally over the top because I can't see how those making the movie could have not realised how corny and cheesy it all was especially during the set up.
But because this set up is so corny and frankly done so quickly you find yourself watching a couple more minutes to see where it is going and how bad it could get until before you realise it is almost over. In fairness if you make it through the set up we get a reasonably entertaining variation on the bunny boiler storyline but it is still not great and has that ability to annoy by seeming to want to be a dark comedy but never really getting the tone right.
What this all boils down to is that "The Deadly Look of Love" is not great with a style which I am sure was meant to be intentionally over the top but only ends up being annoying. Yet there is something about it which keeps you watching and whilst it is a movie with a variety of issues does have some good ideas.
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