Monday, November 8, 2021

Leapin' Lizards!

When I see Jennie Garth with highly shaped '90s eyebrows and Kelly Taylor college hair draped in the meaty arms of Costas Mandylor, you can bet I'm diving in.

Tubi, hold my Zima. 

Quick Plot: Someone is murdering attractive and successful blonds in the big bad city of New York (sure)motos, giving them silver tennis bracelets and rose bouquets before tossing them out the windows of their own high rise apartments. I say "someone" because despite this being a VERY specific modus operandi, the press and police can't seem to come up with a clever or catchy serial killer name other than "The Killer".

Meet Meg: an attractive and successful blond in the big bad city (that's sort of New York?) who, you guessed it, lives far up a building with a Chekhovian rarely working elevator. One night, Meg catches the eye of beefcake Paul. They laugh, dance, order room service they don't eat, and even attend a spoken word poetry reading set to jazz. "New York" in the '90s was wild!

And yes, minor spoiler: Paul is "The Killer", and while he though Meg could finally be the one to break his dirty habit of murder, it's not to be. He throws her out the window and moves on.

Luckily for Meg, her window just happens to be located over a perfectly sized ledge, meaning her fall is broken and she's left instead with some bad bruises and that all-too-common ailment known as selective cinematic amnesia. Grizzled detective Frank Lazaro (BILLY DEE F*CKING WILLIAMS) is on the case, with so much world weariness that you almost wonder if Morgan Freeman was taking notes. 

Falling For You is directed by TV veteran Eric Till, an uncredited director on A Muppet Family Christmas, and therefore, one of my (apparently uncredited) lifelong heroes. Based on a play, it unfolds with the kind of rhythm you'd expect from a television woman-in-peril thriller, though there's some slight relief in Meg seizing control of her own fate. 

Make no mistake: this is not Ms. .45 or even Mother, May I Sleep With Danger. It's an earnest, made-for-CBS primetime thriller without the ability to tap into any real sexy or scary energy. Still, when you watch a 1995 TV movie in 2021, one co-starring Lando Calrissian as every stereotype of a rebellious veteran cop, things are simply bound to be entertaining. 

High Points
We can make Kelly Taylor jokes until the next (hopefully) inevitable 90210 reboot hits, but let's be fair: Jennie Garth is an underrated actor. Yes, her California looks and tight little voice might have limited her ability to be cast as Lady Macbeth or a laboratory scientist, but when it comes to holding the television screen, she has that it factor, and it's more than on display here

Low Points
Is there any screenplay device cheaper than "randomly detailed amnesia that means our victim remembers most activities like how to apply makeup but not the face of the man who threw her out a window?"

Lessons Learned
You won't find many blonds at a punk club ... or "Vampire Sex Bars," as it were

There are only two people in all of Canadian Manhattan who read Robert Frost

There are surprise advantages to having a (literally) thick skull

If you're craving a heavy dose of the mid-to-late '90s, Falling For You will likely prove to be as satisfying as a bag of WOW Doritos washed down with an ice cold Surge (look it up, kids). The excitement of soft focus lighting might wear off quickly, so don't get too excited, but it's definitely a dose of a different time. You can find it on Tubi.  


  1. I'm sure it's no surprise that I had a debilitating crush on Jennie Garth back in the early 90's (who didn't?) but still, this sounds like a film I definitely want to avoid. However, I lol'd at your review multiple times, so if Falling For You had to be created so that you could write this and bring me that joy, than I guess I still have to give it up to FFY. Great post, as always.

    1. Every piece of art exists for one reason or another! Thank you for the kind words!