Going Around the Benz
When Maggie (Julie Benz - The Long Shot) returns to where she grew up for a funeral of an old school friend she finds herself catching up with her old clique as well as her first love. But whilst there she discovers that several people from their school year have died over the last few months and whilst the cops think there is nothing suspicious Maggie isn't convinced, especially when she finds a photo linking all the people who have died which include her late husband.
Not to be confused with the 1995 movie "Circle of Friends" which was based on a Maeve Binchy novel, this 2006 movie called "Circle of Friends" is to be honest a nice but also standard made for TV thriller. In fact whilst "Circle of Friends" was written by Joyce Heft Brotman it has the same sort of feel about it as a movie adapted from a Nora Roberts' novel. As such we have this mystery of a group of old school friends being picked off one by one whilst a return to her home town leads to some romance for one of the characters.
As for the mystery, well there are a lot of red herrings in "Circle of Friends" and whilst you can see through many of them it does keep you on or your toes. And as to how this ends, well whilst handled a bit abruptly and a little too completely the twist which leads to it is as actually a pleasant surprise. If that sounds vague it is meant to be because whilst "Circle of Friends" is nothing more than average the slight cleverness of the final twist is a nice touch and worth experiencing with out any spoilers.
As for the acting well we have a pleasant collection of actors such as Julie Benz and Chris Kramer but their characters are just typical flat TV movie characters. In fact some of the characters are stereotypes and if I told you that Maggie was a fashion designer you know she has to have a camp friend, that is how routine "Circle of Friends" is. But whilst unoriginal and flat the characters are not bad, just need more fleshing out to be truly believable.
What this all boils down to is that "Circle of Friends" is a solid TV thriller which delivers exactly what you expect from a made for TV movie. It's not that original or memorable but an enjoyable distraction for 90 minutes or so.