This month the reviews continue with Maxine Sullivan talking about Hard to Forget, a movie loosely based on a Harlequin Superomance called ‘So Hard to Forget’ by Evelyn Crowe and published in May 1997.
This movie starts off with a bang that is definitely hard to forget. And for PI, Max Warner, so is the woman supposedly killed in that explosion. Hired by the dead woman’s mother to prove the daughter’s new husband killed her for her money, Max becomes fascinated by all he learns about the young woman and starts to believe she is still alive. But unable to prove it, he is about to give up when he sees her picture on a poster for South Africa - and that leads him on a trail from Chicago, to South Africa, to an island in the Aegean Sea.
For all that, Max is still astounded when he does find the heroine. Now named Nicky, she is helping her father run their safari business. Nicky seems to be hiding something and we’re left to wonder if she has amnesia or is just protecting herself by hiding from her husband and scared to trust anyone.
As one would expect, the African scenery is beautiful and dramatic, with a tribal dance and the safari adding local flavour. And perhaps that primitive feel was the reason for the rather hot love scene between Max and Nicky at a waterfall. I’ve seen hotter love scenes on television at times, and read many love scenes in our romance novels, but this one took me by surprise. Perhaps it was the nudity and suggestive poses as they made love on a rock and then swam naked together in the river, but I just didn’t expect a Harlequin movie to be so…um, well, sexy. Colour me surprised. :)
There’s a lot going on in this movie. So much so, I didn’t quite feel an overwhelming romance between the hero and heroine apart from the love scene. Yes, Max showed he was intrigued by Nicky, and yes, Nicky was attracted to Max, but it didn’t appear to me to be the greatest love story ever told.
I won’t give away the spoiler but the story took a twist that surprised me. It was only later that I re-read the blurb on the back of the DVD cover and saw they’d given away the twist anyway.
The hero was played by Tim Dutton who reminded me very much of a young Tom Conti. Polly Shannon was the heroine who was feisty, independent and thin. Very thin. :)
Nicky’s father was played by Chad Everett, a heartthrob from the sixties. And the mother who hired Max to investigate her daughter’s death was Lois Maxwell, whom you may remember as Miss Moneypenny in the early James Bond movies.
Yet I did enjoy this movie, even if the story in the actual book was about a burned-out PI who goes to Montana for a fly-fishing vacation, and comes across a woman who is a dead ringer for a woman he has been investigating.
Putting that aside, the movie had intrigue, action, and romance, and I would give it 7 out of 10, which isn’t too bad in the scheme of things. I do love the Harlequin movies but they will never win major awards, and I don’t judge them on that criteria anyway. But they do make great midday movies. :)
Maxine’s latest book, Mistress & A Million Dollars, was released in the US and India (yes, India!) in March and will be available in Aus/NZ in April. It is the third book in the Silhouette Desire “Diamonds Down Under” series.
If you’d like to win a copy of Maxine’s second Desire, The Tycoon’s Blackmailed Mistress, then please share with us a good movie you’ve watched lately and she’ll choose a winner at random. And don’t forget to visit Diamonds Down Under for more chances to win books, editor critiques, and one of those things that sparkle. Yes, that gorgeous diamond pendant!