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A Friend’s Betrayal

Sophisticated New Yorker Nina (Lawrence) has lost her mother and is breaking up with her married b.f. When she returns to her hometown, pal Abby (Harley Jane Kozak) offers comfort as well as her son, Paul (Austin Green), to help pack Nina's family residence.

Sophisticated New Yorker Nina (Lawrence) has lost her mother and is breaking up with her married b.f. When she returns to her hometown, pal Abby (Harley Jane Kozak) offers comfort as well as her son, Paul (Austin Green), to help pack Nina’s family residence.

Soon Nina is admiring the 18-year-old’s photographs and telling him to listen to his muse, which encourages Paul to put off med school and pursue photography.

TX: TX:Filmed in Los Angeles and San Francisco by Cosgrove-Meurer Prods. in association with World Intl. Network. Executive producers, Terry Dunn Meurer, John Cosgrove; producer, Jay Benson; co-producer, Nancy Dara Silverman; director, Christopher Leitch; writer, J.B. White; story, Hal Sitowitz, J.B. White; Mutual seduction occurs on a trip to San Francisco, engineered, ironically, by Abby.

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Aware of the heat generated by his leads, director Christopher Leitch keeps everyone and everything else in the background. Tension is released in a tasteful sex montage, complete with jazz accompaniment.

Back home, Abby finds evidence of betrayal; Paul goes on to play house with Nina and an attempt to reconcile with Abby backfires.

Pic would be sordid if Paul were a boy toy. But he’s smart, charming and thoughtful, and White’s natural dialogue and meaningful motifs make the relationship real. He and co-scenarist Hal Sitowitz put a foot wrong only in the accident that leads to resolution. And, while effectively limned by Kozak, Abby’s part is slightly underwritten.

Lawrence brings noir sensibility — sophisticated and vulnerable, a femme fatale-cum-mother figure. Austin Green makes Paul so appealing viewers can have genuine empathy for Nina.

By the third time around, sexual intimacy starts to appear lurid and sound cheesy. This could be intentional — a sign that the relationship can’t work.

Tech energies are focused on making the betrayal both salacious and serious, including flattering costumes for Lawrence by Debra McGuire.

A Friend’s Betrayal

  • Production: A Friend's Betrayal (Sun. (19), 9-11 p.m., NBC)
  • Crew: Camera, Robert Primes; editor, Martin Nicholson; production designer, Donald Lee Harris; sound, Richard Schexnayder; music, W.G. Snuffy Walden; casting, Molly Lopata.
  • With: Cast: Sharon Lawrence, Brian Austin Green, Harley Jane Kozak, John Getz, Katie Wright, Ray Baker, Jeremy Renner, Ashleigh Aston Moore, John Carroll Lynch, Ashley McDonogh, Neal Lerner. Pairing Sharon Lawrence and Brian Austin Green in this enticing telepic should bring together adult fans of "NYPD Blue" and the "Beverly Hills, 90210" crowd. Both actors deliver well-crafted and sensuous perfs, and their steamy romance will lure viewers from the sudsy middle ground of "Melrose Place." Teleplay by J.B. White offers believable scenario of a woman becoming involved with her best friend's son.
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