Modern Heat author Heidi Rice gets all hot and bothered by smouldering toy boy Robert Pattinson in the new romance movie adapted from a bestselling novel by Nicholas Sparks. And offers a chance to win a copy of her latest book, Unfinished Business with the Duke!
Oh all right then, Robert Pattinson is young enough to be my son, but I was a mad keen fan of James Dean in my youth (who, if he hadn't died in a car crash at 24, would have been old enough to be my dad) so I do have a bit of previous with smouldering bad boys whatever their age.
And let's face it, RPatz has definitely got something... And if you weren't convinced by Twilight, because maybe you're a bit squeamish around all that bloodsucking, then you will be by this contemporary romance which cleverly draws on Pattison's outsider/outcast appeal while at the same time putting it in a more down-to-earth setting. Namely New York City circa 2001.
For starters, it's now official, Robert Pattinson is the most photogenic actor in the known universe (he manages to look sexy in this movie even when he's being punched in the face, which frankly happens rather a lot). And boy does this guy know how to smoulder. But he's not hurt a bit by the film's plot which is unashamedly romantic. This isn't a rom-com or a chick flick, this is unadulterated star-crossed romance and for that I applaud it. It's wonderful to see the love story front and centre for a change.
Adapted from Sparks's novel, the story's main focus is the burgeoning love affair between rich college boy Tyler Hawkins (our Patz) - who is traumatised by his brother's suicide and busy rebelling against his emotionally distant father (the yummie Pierce Brosnan!) - and cop's daughter Ally Craig - who witnessed her mother's murder at an early age and is struggling to cope with her father (Chris Cooper, another yum) whose unresolved guilt over the incident has made him wildly overprotective.
Now, you might say that's enough emotional baggage for about ten movies, but thanks to brave performances by Pattinson and his co-star Emilie de Raven of Lost fame (not to mention the stellar supporting cast), the sizzling chemistry that develops between the two of them and a subtle, emotionally complex script, their story is always compelling and convincing.
Well, all apart from the shock twist at the end which I found a little bit contrived. But I know others found that ending deeply moving so my reaction might have more to do with me being a jaded film reviewer than anything else. I guess you'll just have to judge for yourself.
Anyway, this is a movie I would definitely recommend, even if you're not a Robert Pattinson groupie (and I like to think I'm a bit more dignified than that - because I was even more taken with the delicious Mr Brosnan). It's got heart and soul, it looks magnificent (even Tyler's grungy tenement apartment looks romantically edgy) and it's spearheading a recent trend in mainstream cinema towards films which aren't frightened to wear their heart on their sleeve... Something which I think we can all applaud.
Heidi got a box of her brand new Modern Heat Unfinished Business with the Duke yesterday, and she's eager to give a copy to one lucky commentator. So post away folks!
Heidi Rice is still doing her happy dance after hitting the USA Today bestseller list last month with her Presents release Public Affair, Secretly Expecting. Her seventh Modern Heat, Unfinished Business with the Duke, hits the shelves in the UK on May 21st and is due out as a Presents Extra in the US this October. And if that one makes the USA Today list too, she's liable to explode!