Melodrama in the Stables
Having escaped danger in Mexico, photojournalist Anne Marie Kerr (Emma Samms - Pretend You Don't See Her) receives news that her brother has been killed in a hunting accident at the Hollister Farm in Devil's Gorge, where he had been working. But Anne Marie's journalistic instincts makes her suspicious and so under an alias heads to the Hollister Farm where she convinces the Hollister family that they need her help to catalogue the inventory for an upcoming auction. As Anne Marie snoops around she finds herself becoming close to Jason Hollister (Bruce Greenwood - Heart of a Child) but also discovers that the Farm is having money problems and suspects that her brother may have been killed to silence him.
Welcome to the world of tick box movie making as we look at "Treacherous Beauties" a made for TV movie from the mid 90s which has been made following a formula. That formula includes a woman who suspects a relative of being murdered and so goes undercover to find the truth, there is a beautiful log cabin with a roaring fire, a grand old house with sweeping stairs, a romance, and an element of danger all of which eventually builds to our heroine finding herself in trouble. If those things don't ring a bell or two then you obviously don't watch many movies as they are all staples of many a made for TV movie.
The thing is that whilst all these things are familiar they are nicely used to create a solid if not remarkable made for TV movie which hits the same marks that other movies do. Having said that "Treacherous Beauties" is an acquired taste and if scenes featuring a shirtless Bruce Greenwood carrying Emma Samms across a muddy path sounds romantic then you will probably like it. Yes, "Treacherous Beauties" has that now often derided melodramatic romantic side which means some steamy although in reality corny romantic scenes.
And when you have that melodramatic romantic side you also have to have the performances to go with it and that is where Emma Samms and Catherine Oxenberg come in with soap opera style performances, the sort which are over the top but not ridiculously over the top that they end up spoof like. In truth the acting in "Treacherous Beauties" is solid but unremarkable with the most memorable thing being how much Emma Samms looked like Catherine Zeta-Jones when she made this.
What this all boils down to is that if you enjoy melodramatic movies which mix romance and mystery then "Treacherous Beauties" will probably entertain. But if romantic melodrama makes you cringe then you would be best to give this a wide berth as from its look to its performances it will be painful.