Her Own Rules (1998) Melissa Gilbert, Jeremy Sheffield, Lorraine Pilkington, Ginny Holder, Dorian Healy, Maria Lennon, Jean Simmons Movie Review

Her Own Rules (1998)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Melissa Gilbert in Her Own Rules (1998)

Another Time and Place

Three decades after having left Britain, when she was adopted as a child, Meredith Sanders (Melissa Gilbert - Childhood Sweetheart?) returns to see her friend, Agnes (Ginny Holder). But as soon as she steps off the train the painful memories of her childhood, her mum dying and the cruel children's home, come flooding back. After catching up with Agnes she learns something which makes her consider trying to find her mother's grave. And when she starts a passionate relationship with Lucas Kent (Jeremy Sheffield), a handsome architect, it leads to her trying to bring closure to her childhood with a surprising result.

The minute that "Her Own Rules" started it immediately annoyed me because we see Meredith step off a train at a quaint train station which looked like it was something from the 1950s, and with the steam billowing from the train it can only be from that era as steam trains are not generally used in Britain. That was okay and kind of made sense as we then have a flashback to Meredith's childhood and what appears to be a workhouse of sorts where we have numerous women ironing bed sheets and basically ordered to work harder. But then Meredith leaves the train station in a modern BMW convertible with the obvious joke of her not only getting in the wrong door to drive but then driving on the wrong side of the road. It just doesn't make sense with the suggested time between her childhood and now.

Jeremy Sheffield in Her Own Rules (1998)

But that isn't the only thing which annoyed me because all I can assume is that "Her Own Rules" was made for an American audience who had a stereotypical picture of what the British are like. I don't mean yobs but we meet a quirky Constable, lots of people who can't dance and a jobs worth clerk. It at times borders on the insulting in the way it portrays Brits and by the time "Her Own Rules" was over I was grateful that there hadn't been a scene in a city because I am sure a punk and a man in a bowler hat would have cropped up.

To be honest I could spend a long time ripping in to "Her Own Rules" and I haven't even mentioned the steamy romance between Meredith and Lucas, supposedly passionate but in reality excruciatingly cheesy. But there are two positives and they are Jean Simmons and Melissa Gilbert with both showing their class as actresses to make the most of dodgy dialogue and dodgier scenes. Not that their characters are that good in fact their characters are as poor as the rest of them but at least they try to deliver character.

What this all boils down to is that I was unimpressed by "Her Own Rules" and to be honest it was almost unwatchable. If it wasn't for the fact that both Melissa Gilbert and Jean Simmons deliver character I would have switched it off.