Experience in television does not necessarily lead toward quality film production, and Careful What You Wish For illustrates that point. Director Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum and writer Chris Frisina have not escaped their roots in this production, which results in a mostly predictable story worthy of the small screen. Young hunk Doug (Jonas) meets gorgeous, married next-door neighbor cum femme fatale Isabel (Lucas) and ends up being a suspect in a murder.
The main actors are all caricatures of movie lore: the naïve young man taken in by the poor helpless blonde beset upon by a mean husband, and a small-town sheriff who really knows more than the “outsider” insurance adjustor. It’s not long before we figure out how the story will unfold. Immediately we’re set up to hate Elliot (Mulroney), Isabel’s husband, in his hubris, low moral standards, and pure obnoxiousness. Then we have the “purity” of young Doug trying to rescue the abused Isabel from her oafish husband. We get to spend delicious moments riding on the torrid affair between two luscious bodies (notice, I said ‘bodies’; not persons) in thrall, knowing that the sword of Damocles will soon drop. It drops in the death of a major character and an expected murder investigation.
The actors Jonas, Lucas, Mulroney, and Sorvino live up to their reputations as fine actors; it’s just too bad the script doesn’t come in with imaginative twists to make this a new or moving film experience. The ending is meant to thrill, but since there was nothing to set it up, it was just another illogical twist. I also had a problem with everyone ignoring Doug’s mother, an attorney who had good advice for her son, just as if she didn’t matter.
Careful what you choose to watch.
Grade: D By Donna R. Copeland