Anchor Bay's April '05 Releases
Danielle Steel's Daddy (May 13/05)
Made note-worthy thanks to an early appearance from Ben Affleck (hamming it up even in his career's infancy), Danielle Steel's Daddy is an exceedingly melodramatic love story that's bound to turn off all but the most indiscriminating viewer. The film stars Patrick Duffy as Oliver Watson, an advertising executive whose seemingly perfect life begins to fall apart after his wife walks out on him (his kids blame him for the split). Though things look bleak for a while - particularly for Oliver's oldest son, who is forced to drop out of school and get a job after his girlfriend announces she is pregnant - Oliver finds himself falling for a beautiful actress (played by Lynda Carter) shortly after moving to Los Angeles. Danielle Steel's Daddy is one of those films that delivers exactly what it promises (ie absurdly over-the-top, soap opera-esque machinations), and on that level, the film undoubtedly works. Duffy delivers an appropriately ham-fisted performance, though there's no denying that the actor has genuine chemistry with Carter.
Mischief (May 15/05)
Featuring the exploits of a couple of sex-crazed characters, Mischief is essentially Porky's without the sleaze. Though the film undeniably has sex on the brain, Mischief's characters are likeable and engaging enough to ensure that the movie's raunchier moments feel organic. Set in 1956, Mischief follows the exploits of a wimp named Jonathan (Doug McKeon), who finds his self-confidence boosted after befriending local rebel Gene Harbrough (played by Chris Nash). So, of course, Jonathan summons up the courage to ask out the prettiest girl in school (Kelly Preston) and subsequently begins dating her. Though Mischief is kind of entertaining, it's consistently thwarted by a distinctly uneven sense of pacing - ensuring that certain sections of the film are far more engaging than others (ie the stuff revolving around Jonathan and Gene's unlikely friendship is an obvious highlight). Still, as a bawdier spin on the '50s coming-of-age flick, there's no denying that Mischief is fairly effective.
Nuns on the Run (May 16/05)
Despite a seemingly surefire premise - two inept crooks (played by Eric Idle and Robbie Coltrane), on the lam from a dangerous mobster, dress up like nuns and hide out in a convent - Nuns on the Run is a disastrously unfunny mess. Writer/director Jonathan Lynn packs the film with plenty of one-liners and moments of physical comedy, but is utterly unable to provide the viewer with a single reason to care about any of this. Even with Idle and Coltrane's exceedingly enthusiastic performances, Nuns on the Run is never quite able to rise above the level of barely-watchable mediocrity. Exacerbating matters is the increasingly frenetic vibe Lynn imbues the story with, something that's particularly true of the film's third act. But the bottom line is that none of this is funny, and because Lynn places the emphasis on jokes above all else, there's virtually nothing else here to keep us engaged.