×

Angels Fall

The women in jeopardy genre, a staple of Lifetime Network, gets a big upgrade from its partnership with romance novelist Nora Roberts. Mind you, women will still be in plenty of jeopardy, but in this production arrangement, they're pluckier, smarter and if they just happen to fall for a hunky guy in the process, well that's just a bonus.

With:
Reece Gilmore - Heather Locklear Brody - Johnathoncq Schaechcq Rick Marsden - Gary Hudson Lo - Derek Hamilton Joanie - Linda Darlow Linda Gail - Lisa Marie Caruk Mac Drubber - Peter Seadon Doc - Len Crowther

The women in jeopardy genre, a staple of Lifetime Network, gets a big upgrade from its partnership with romance novelist Nora Roberts. Mind you, women will still be in plenty of jeopardy, but in this production arrangement, they’re pluckier, smarter and if they just happen to fall for a hunky guy in the process, well that’s just a bonus.

“The Nora,” as fans and friends in the industry dub her, is generally credited with reinvigorating the romance genre with feistier heroines and for weaving tantalizing mysteries with tantalizing romance. “Angels Fall,” starring Heather Locklear and Johnathon Schaech, definitely nails the mystery half.

Although romance is the tag here with the Roberts tie-in, this pic works better as a mystery. Schaech and Locklear never really generate the type of sparks that fans of the genre expect, an unfortunate side effect to this whodunit approach.

Still, Locklear is a savvy choice to launch the four-pic deal. A bankable TV movie actress, Locklear’s portrayal of Reece Gilmore, a skittish chef running from her fears, is acerbic, mysterious and endearingly goofy. She finds herself stuck in a small Wyoming town after her car breaks down and soon becomes the main source of speculation among the tight group of locals.

Reece takes a cooking job at the local diner in the beautiful but isolated place, and gains a mother figure in the bossy and inquisitive Joanie (Linda Darlow). She fills her in on all the gossip, including the 411 on brooding mystery writer Brody (Schaech), who catches Reece’s eye.

Reece, however, clearly has issues, with men, personal space and security, because of a traumatic incident in her past. She decides to give small-town life a try, but while on a hike in the woods, she observes a murder through her binoculars. With no body and no missing person reports, no one in town is sure whether or not Reece was witness to anything but her own anxieties.

In some ways director Ralph Hemecker plays up the mystery too well, creating far too much misdirection. By painting everyone with suspicion, Brody’s sudden interest in Reece despite some obvious red flags seems more menacing than earnest. In turn, what is supposed to be a slow-burning affair looks more like a dysfunctional hookup. If Reeceis indeed as unhinged as she seems, then Brody has a thing for crazy women.

Solid production values add a great deal, with Joel Ransom’s lensing highlighting the beautiful scenery of the Canadian locale. Beautiful but desolate, it aptly reflects Reece’s isolation.

Angels Fall

Lifetime; Mon., Jan. 29, 9 p.m.

Production: Filmed on location in Canada by Mandalay Television and Stephanie Germain Productions for Lifetime Television. Executive producers, Peter Guber, Stephanie Germain, Peter E. Strauss, producer, Salli Newman. Director, Ralph Hemecker.

Crew: Camera, Joel Ransom; writer, Janet Brownell based on the novel by Nora Roberts; editor, Louis Cioffi, music, Chris P. Bacon, Stuart M. Thomas; casting, Susan Glicksman. Running time: 2 HOURS.

Cast: Reece Gilmore - Heather Locklear Brody - Johnathoncq Schaechcq Rick Marsden - Gary Hudson Lo - Derek Hamilton Joanie - Linda Darlow Linda Gail - Lisa Marie Caruk Mac Drubber - Peter Seadon Doc - Len Crowther

More Scene

  • Logan Lerman Jordan Peele Al Pacino

    Al Pacino and Carol Kane Had a ‘Dog Day Afternoon’ Reunion on the ‘Hunters’ Set

    Nearly 45 years after Al Pacino and Carol Kane appeared in Sidney Lumet’s classic film “Dog Day Afternoon,” an Amazon Prime Video series about Nazi-hunters in 1977 New York City has brought them back together. Go figure. “I’m proud to be working with him again,” Kane told Variety at the “Hunters” premiere on Wednesday night [...]

  • Anya Taylor Joy Emma Premiere

    Anya Taylor-Joy on Playing Jane Austen's Clever, Callous Protagonist in 'Emma'

    It was an evening of elegance at the Los Angeles premiere of Focus Features’ “Emma” on Tuesday night. The red carpet was lined with pastel floral arrangements at the DGA Theater, priming visitors to be transported to the ornate pageantry of Georgian-era England, as depicted in this new adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic tale. Anya [...]

  • Tom Holland Chris Pratt Onward Premiere

    Tom Holland and Chris Pratt Show Off Real-Life Bond at Pixar's 'Onward' Premiere

    Pixar’s new movie “Onward” marks a reunion of sorts for Tom Holland and Chris Pratt. The two actors, who both have ties to Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe and most recently teamed in “Avengers: Endgame” as Spider-Man and Star-Lord, play brothers in the animated fantasy adventure. Their friendship has become a highlight of “Onward’s” promotional tour [...]

  • Da’Vine Joy Randolph

    Da’Vine Joy Randolph Praises Hulu's 'High Fidelity' for Telling a Realistic New York Story

    If HBO’s “Girls” characterized a certain type of young, disaffected millennial, fumbling cluelessly around a gentrifying Brooklyn, and if “Sex and the City” used Manhattan as a tantalizing playground for a class of well-connected, glamorous and decidedly 90s-bound women, both shows had one thing in common: they were painfully, inevitably white. “We’re gonna fix that!,” [...]

  • Harrison Ford Call of the Wild

    Why Harrison Ford Wanted to Play John Thornton in ‘The Call of the Wild’

    Joining legends like Charlton Heston and Clarke Gable, who have played the role of John Thornton in “The Call of the Wild,” Harrison Ford now stands next to a CGI-enhanced version of the dog named Buck in the latest adaptation of Jack London’s classic 1903 novel. “I thought the film has a lot to say [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content