Pretend You Don't See Her (2002) starring Emma Samms, Hannes Jaenicke, Beau Starr, Reiner Schöne, Stewart Bick, Laura Press, Carolyn Dunn directed by René Bonnière Movie Review

Pretend You Don't See Her (2002)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Emma Samms as Lacey Farrell in Pretend You Don't See Her

Pretend You Didn't See It

"Pretend You Don't See Her" is the sort of movie for those who enjoy thrillers but don't like anything heavy or complex just a simple crime tale, a bit of drama and that is it. But as such this TV movie is flawed suffering from a weak plot built on conveniences, terrible acting, yes I did say terrible, and a grip on reality which is non existent. It's by no means the worst thriller I have watched but sadly "Pretend You Don't See Her" doesn't even make it to being average even for a TV movie.

Lacey Farrell (Emma Samms) is a New York realtor who is asked to oversee the sale of an apartment for Chantal Greco (Laura Press), who 3 months earlier witnessed her daughter Heather killed in a hit and run. Convinced Heather's death was not an accident she tells Lacey what she believes and when Chantal is murdered and Lacey witnesses it her life gets turned upside down. With pages from Heather's journal containing clues to who is behind the murders Lacey is forced to enter the Witness Protection Program for her own safety. But wanting her own life back and with the killer still after her Lacey can not rest and must find out who it is behind the killings.

Carolyn Dunn as Kitt Taylor in Pretend You Don't See Her

The basic set up to "Pretend You Don't See Her" is actually quite good with a realtor dragged into a crime when she witnesses a murder and has to go into the witness protection program because her life is at risk. It allows for a brief look at what being in the witness protection program means from watching Lacy struggle in her new life to the emotional pull of having to leave her old life and family behind. Even the scene where one of the FBI takes her through her new identity is quite good as he explains that when she looks in a mirror she can no longer see Lacey but her new identity of Alice.

But those are brief moments in what ends up a very weak thriller which sees Lacey turning Investigator to try and work out who it was who murdered Heather, her mother Chantal and now is coming after her. There are plot holes a plenty and far too many conveniences to be taken seriously as things slowly move to a dramatic ending which to be frank is not that dramatic. And that dramatic ending leads me to another problem because "Pretend You Don't See Her" is a mystery, we are meant to want to know who is behind it all, who hired the killer but not only are we not that interested but the man behind it all is plucked out of thin air with nowhere near enough clues to point the finger at them. In a way it makes following the story a waste of time because it doesn't build the clues well enough to make you suspicious.

The weak plot is just one of the issues and equally weak and unconvincing characters is another issue. The best way to describe this is there is a scene where Lacy his holding her niece and they get shot at with the niece being injured. Cut to the next scene and Lacey's sister comforts her saying not to worry her daughter will be fine, kids heal quickly, excuse me but daughter just been hit by a bullet you are not going to be that calm. And that is the trouble which dogs every character because they are all slightly unrealistic which often makes them a bit laughable.

A bit laughable extends to the acting which thanks to the fake ness of the characters seems even worse. Emma Samms as Lacey is full of over the top facial expressions whilst Reiner Schöne who plays Jimmy Greco, whose wife and daughter have been killed, seems to have read the book on playing stereotypical Italian mobster types. The various detectives are no better and basically I could go on because all the acting has a sense of falseness on par with the falseness of their characters.

What this all boils down to is that "Pretend You Don't See Her" is quite simply a very weak thriller and also a very weak TV movie. For those who just want something very simple and don't care for realism or logic it will entertain but for anyone else they will probably find it hard not to end up laughing at some of the over acting and plot holes.