Ladd & Wilson Have Time in a Bottle
Lily (Cheryl Ladd - Now and Forever) and her friend, Susan (Ruby Wax - Tara Road), having spent some time in Venice are taking a journey on the Orient Express. It is 10 years since Lily last travelled by train in Europe when on a journey to the South of France she met Alex (Stuart Wilson - Ivanhoe) and fell deeply in love with him as they ended up holidaying together only for him to suddenly leave with no explanation. But to her surprise Alex is also on the Orient Express and it is no accident as he tracked her down and wants to explain why he just vanished without reason all those years ago. Not that Lily wants to listen to what he has to say having managed to put the heartbreak behind her.
How does a scene of four young backpackers cycling along side a French river, the image slightly misty, whilst we listen to Elton John singing "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" sound to you. Or how about a scene involving a suave French man approaching the character played by Ruby Wax with her response being "I'm not looking for Mr. Right, I'm looking for Mr. Right Now". I could go on because "Romance on the Orient Express" is over flowing with the sort of dialogue and scenes which might appeal to those who enjoy Mills & Boon novels but end up horrendously cheesy for those who don't. In truth I found it cheerily romantic but to the point that because it is so ridiculously cheesy it then became entertaining in a bad way; such as a scene where Lily and Alex take a trip on a strangers canal boat and we get to hear "Time in a Bottle", a fabulous song with great lyrics but here with that misty styling and staged chocolate box look ends up cheesy.
Now beyond the romantic, "Mills & Boon" styling what we get in "Romance on the Orient Express" is the story in the present as Alex tries to win back Lily by explaining why he cleared off with no explanation and then we have those misty, overly romanticized flashback scenes so we can watch them falling in love a decade earlier. I hate to say it but it is classic "Mills & Boon" style romantic nonsense which whilst entertaining is so heavy in style that at times the actual storyline becomes unimportant and in truth there isn't much story.
But it has to be said that Cheryl Ladd and Stuart Wilson play their parts well with Cheryl Ladd looking like she belonged in one of those 80s chocolate box adverts where the woman's hair shines and wears a really cuddly white jumper. Trust me when I say in an unapologetically shallow way for all those who fell in love with Cheryl Ladd back in the 80s this will make you fall in love with her all over again when you watch this now. As for Stuart Wilson, well he plays the part but the hair cut is horrendous and it is distracting. Also distracting are Julian Sands who looks like he is part of a band and Ruby Wax who seems to have been cast as a wise cracking side kick for Ladd which ends up out of place but weirdly entertaining for being out of place.
What this all boils down to is that "Romance on the Orient Express" is a lot of romantic tosh, the over the top romantic tosh which even makes a Danielle Steel movie look normal. Now whilst not intended the over the top romantic nature makes this entertaining in a cheesy, almost bad movie sort of way or at least it did for me.