Saturday, January 26, 2008

Friday Film Night :: Diamond Girl

Here at The Pink Heart Society we are very excited to announce that over the next 12 months two Silhouette Desire authors, Bronwyn Jameson and Maxine Sullivan, will be reviewing the Harlequin romance movies now available on DVD!


And in celebration of the release of their first book in the “Diamonds Down Under” Desire series, this month Maxine Sullivan will review “Diamond Girl”.


Take one playboy boss, his plain assistant secretly in love with him, and throw in an older brother who turns up in time to save the family wine estate, and you have the makings of a Harlequin romance novel. Take that out of Diana Palmer’s 1984 Silhouette Desire “Diamond Girl” and put some of it into a 1998 movie that apparently doesn’t follow the book, and you still have a lovely romantic movie that gives the required happy ending.


I have to admit however, that in the first ten minutes of the movie the characters seemed over-the-top and totally cliched. Denny Montana, the playboy boss, had me wondering how he managed to run a law practice when women and tennis were obviously his game. Claire Barnard, the paralegal, was dowdy but very competent and the brains behind the business. Regan Montana, the older brother, (played by a scrumptious Jonathan Cake) was tall, dark and handsome and so alpha he was a bully. In fact, Claire even called him a bully at one stage.


And then something happened. I forgot these were actors playing characters, and suddenly these characters came to life. At first I thought they had just found their stride but after a while I realized it had probably been deliberate. We had to see how the characters were before they came together so that we could see their character growth throughout the movie. Just like in our romance books.


The plot began to deepen when Regan suggests to Claire they pretend to be lovers. Regan wants his younger brother, Denny, to be jealous so Denny will leave his current mistress, who is pushing Denny to sell the vineyard to an unscrupulous buyer. Regan suggests a makeover for Claire, and then proceeds to turn a “diamond in the rough” into a beautiful “diamond girl”. Of course things backfire on both Regan and Claire when they begin to fall in love with each other.


This movie had an old-fashioned flavour at first but I think that was more to do with how clichéd the characters were at the beginning. Mind you, I don’t find anything wrong with clichés. To me, they’re kind of comforting.


The movie was very polished and the dialogue witty, especially by the heroine, who turned out to be feisty and beautiful.


Regan (in full alpha mode): “When the courier shows up show him where to put my files.”




Claire: “No problem. I’ll show him exactly where to put them.”



The love scene was short but surprisingly passionate, yet it was a little tamer than some of the love scenes in the Harlequin movies to be reviewed in coming months.



The beautiful Dyan Cannon (once married to Cary Grant) played Regan and Denny’s mother, though at a distance she looked more like their older sister. The heroine, Claire, is played by Joely Collins, daughter of singer, Phil Collins.


And the cover with Claire and Denny on it was misleading as it should have been the heroine and hero, Claire and Regan. Although I did find one cover with Claire and Regan on it:




I give this movie 8 out of 10, not because of the complexity of the plot but for the depth of characterization, the romance, and for the feel-good ending.



Maxine’s book, "Mistress & A Million Dollars", will be released in the US in March and Aus/NZ in April and is the third book in the Silhouette Desire “Diamonds Down Under” series.



If you’d like to win a copy of her book, tell us here what you think of the diamond pendant being offered as the grand prize on the Diamonds Down Under author website and Maxine will pick a lucky winner on January 26th!

16 comments:

  1. The pendant is just beautiful!

    I also saw this movie and really liked it!

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  2. The pendant... I have a Swarovski one that is so similar!

    I wish there were more Harlequins made into movies.

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  3. The pendant is unique and classic and very tasteful.

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  4. What an impressive and beautiful pendant. It looks like one of a kind.

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  5. The pendant is nothing short of perfection. It is the ideal complement to an evening out.

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  6. Ladies, thanks for your comments about our gorgeous pendant giveaway. I'll be choosing a winner tomorrow for a copy of my book. And don't forget that if you enter the treasure hunt on the Diamonds Down Under website you might win the pendant. Good luck!

    Lily, I agree with you that I wished Harlequin made more movies. Bronwyn Jameson and I are going to be reviewing 12 of them over the next year and I have to say that most of them are really good. We can't wait to do the reviews.

    Maxine
    http://www.maxinesullivan.com

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  7. Hi Maxine. Hi everyone.

    Firstly, I must say I'm really looking forward to reviewing this series of movies. My first, in February, is of a book by one of my favourite authors...not saying who, but like Diana Palmer who wrote Diamond Girl, a biggie.

    Secondly, how appropriate that you chose Diamond Girl for this month's review, Maxine. The pendant IS gorgeous and quite unusual. Hope you all join the treasure hunt for a chance to win!

    Bron

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  8. The pendant is gorgeous. It is so breathtaking.

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  9. Who wouldn't want a diamond, especially a pendant that classy and beautiful! :)

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  10. Gorgeous pendant. Great movie.

    I have Diamond Girl on tape and whip it out when I'm looking for a little inspiration. The love scene when he bursts into her room, picks her up and drops her on the bed without saying a word makes me smile every time!

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  11. I think the necklace is absolutely stunning/gorgeous. It has top WOW power for me.

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  12. It's gorgeous! I have Bronwyn Jameson's book so I think it will be such fun to play your game.

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  13. Maureen, I hope you do participate in the treasure hunt and wish you all the best for the prize draw.

    Cat, now I REALLY want to see this movie. From Maxine's plot description it sounds like a storyline that would still work in Desire today.

    Bron

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  14. the pendant is the most beautiful one I have every seen. Exceptional and stunning.

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  15. That is a pendant which is a knockout. Wow!

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  16. And the winner of my totally random drawing for a copy of my latest book is..... drum roll..... Eva!

    Congratulations, Eva! If you'd like to contact me through my website with your address, I'd be happy to send out a copy of Mistress & A Million Dollars.

    Thank you all for your comments. And don't forget there's prizes on the Diamonds Down Under website and chances to win books and editor/agent critiques, not to mention that pendant.

    Maxine
    http://www.maxinesullivan.com

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