Thursday, September 01, 2005

Ghost in Monte Carlo

And now we come to the last of the 3 Cartland movies that are my favorite "guilty pleasures," A Ghost in Monte Carlo. I think this one is Kelli's favorite, and it's probably # 2 on my own list. It's the only one of the 3 without a Regency setting. Judging by the costumes, I'd say it's about 1880ish. The plot is a bit more complicated (relatively speaking), but I'll take a stab at it.

Our heroine, an orphan with just her aunt for a guardian, has been raised in a convent all her life, and is astonishingly naive--even for a BC heroine. Hard to believe, I know. Her aunt comes to fetch her when she's 18 and takes her off to lead the glamorous life in Monte Carlo, but auntie has a secret agenda (of course). She's made all her moola by running a high-priced brothel in Paris under an assumed name and a disguise that seems to consist only of a red wig. She's also been scheming all these years to get revenge on the heroine's father, some kind of prince, I think (played by Captain Von Trapp, er, Christopher Plummer). She thinks he seduced and abandoned her sister, heroine's mother, before heroine was born, leaving her to die alone and sad in childbirth. The mother only left heroine a fabulous black pearl necklace ( a gift from heroine's father) to remember her by. And the aunt will now use the heroine (why can't I remember her name??? It's something vaguely faux-French) to get that revenge.

The hero is played by the same absurdly handsome-but-wooden actor from HoH. There's also a wicked Turkish pasha who lusts for the heroine and kidnaps her so she can be rescued by the hero (after nearly falling off a window ledge in her floofy evening gown), a brazen widow after the hero (hey! I think it's the same brazen widow from HoH, only with black hair instead of a weird orangey-blond), a blackmailer or 2, sinister servants, and, of course, Gothic goings-on on stormy nights. I could go on, but why bother? I don't think I have the energy. You just have to check it out for yourself! The Monte Carlo settings are really glitteringly gorgeous, and the costumes and hairstyles unbeliveably poofy (you can tell where my top concerns are in a movie, right? Costumes and good-looking actors, natch). I wish I had an excuse to wear the heroine's gray chiffon ballgown, or her lacy wedding gown at the end. Ooops---did I give away the ending?? :) Happy watching!


Megan Frampton said...

So I went to my local library, and they have Duel of Hearts, but it's in the Service to the Aging department, and has closed-captioning for the hearing-impaired! So do I get it and read along, or do I pretend I'm not old? it sounds like massive cheesy fun, btw.

Steve Austin said...
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Kelli McBride said...

Lysette Anthony as Mistral and
Oliver Reed as "The Rajah"

This is a wickedly convoluted story with plenty of deus ex machina's to resolve those issues.

But still, alas, no Frivolo.

Amanda McCabe said...

That was it! Mistral. But wasn't that like a Danielle Steel novel, too? Anyway, I'm glad to have that resolved. And this story could REALLY have used a Frivolo.

Megan, I would suggest just somehow blocking out the closed captioning (maybe a piece of paper across the bottom of the screen?). The dialogue does not bear up under such close scrutiny. But I'm so excited that you're going to watch it so we can discuss!!! :)