Something Borrowed, Something Blue

As if the institution of marriage needed any more battering, CBS offers a disjointed, chintzy movie that affirms matrimony in the backhanded way only television can. The romance generated is of the 1970s "Charlie's Angels" ilk despite the efforts of three classy actresses: Connie Sellecca, Twiggy Lawson and Dina Merrill. The script is superficial and the direction is of equal probity. "Something Borrowed, Something Blue" is about three women on the verge of tying the knot. Monique D'Arcy (Sellecca) is a high-flying magazine editor lured away from Ritz to Plaza One by its dominating publisher and her soon-to-be fiancee (Jameson Parker). It's obvious he's bad news when, on their first encounter, he uses acupuncture to relieve her migraine.

Monique’s best friend is mature fashion model Eve, played by real-life model Lawson, who’s engaged to a sturdy Southern Senator (Ken Howard). Problem is she’s being stalked by a former lover. Monique finds a third bride, Teri (Shawnee Smith), to round out a feature in the Valentine’s Day issue of her mag. She also has a past, having given a child up for adoption after running away from home. The father was a priest and the kid turned out to be deaf. Her fiancee (Ricky Paull Goldin) doesn’t take the news very well.

All three unions are in serious trouble. Eve hires a private eye and Monique’s well-heeled mother (Merrill) pushes her into the arms of romantic carpenter (Brett Cullen). His idea of romance, other than building spectacular gazebos, is “owling.” How exciting can things get when the symbol of romance is an owl?

Gwen Arner’s lackluster directing bottoms out during the poorly staged climax — a photo shoot for the magazine article in the islands — which has Eve in the clutches of her stalker. Otherwise not much happens. The emotional climax is, naturally, a wedding scene.

In addition to the fact that too many issues are raised in a slapdash manner, the three stories have nothing in common. The relationship between Eve and the senator strains credulity and her stalker turns out to be motivated by a second-hand obsession. Some real boners come out of nowhere — “I left the priesthood for you.” or “I think we fell in love with the idea of love.” Eve’s revelation that she ran over her abusive lover while trying to flee is hilarious.

Acting is maybe a notch above the material. Sellecca and Lawson are likable and attractive, while Smith does vulnerability and Howard earnestness.

Production is OK, suffering from geographic disorientation as the scene shifts between Wilmington stand-ins for New York, Washington, Philadelphia and a tropical island hotel. Contributing to the 1970s veneer, music by Nan Schwartz Mishkin requires bell bottoms and wide collars to be appreciated. These angels need a crime to solve.

Something Borrowed, Something Blue

Tues. (11), 9-11 p.m., CBS

  • Production: Filmed in Wilmington, N.C., by JCS Entertainment Prods. in association with CBS Prods. Executive producer, JC Shardo; producer, JC Shardo; director, Gwen Arner; writer, Karol Ann Hoeffner, based on a book by Jillian Karr;
  • Crew: camera, Bob Hayes; editor, Pam Malouf-Cundy; production designer, Bryan Ryman; art director, Tim Eckel; sound, Peter Bentley; music, Nan Schwarzt Mishkin; casting, Karen Hendel, Kim Williams.
  • Cast: Cast: Connie Sellecca, Twiggy Lawson, Jameson Parker, Ken Howard, Shawnee Smith, Ricky Paull Goldin, Garrison Hershberger, Brett Cullen, Dina Merrill, Ralph Wilcox, Keith Flippen, Charles Portney, Dan Doby, Debra Terry, Julie Kellam, Dorothy R. Brown, Tommy Tracy.
  • Music By: