Deadly Pursuits (1996)

Genres - Mystery  |   Sub-Genres - Post-Noir (Modern Noir)  |   Run Time - 90 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Although not nearly as unintentionally guffaw-inducing as Mother, May I Sleep With Danger? and Co-ed Call Girl, Tori Spelling's other two TV movies from 1996, this overwrought love story/thriller does feature some pretty great Tori moments. Coyly revealing her past as a lap dancer, shimmying in the streets with a group of hapless jazz performers, and calmly stealing important documents from bank tellers and cops, Spelling's character here is a femme fatale with a quirky, manic edge -- a perfect opportunity, then, for the future indie actress to hone the comic skills she would bring to bear on Scream 2, The House of Yes, and Trick. And therein lies the secret to enjoying this kind of hackneyed fluff: Treat it like comedy, the same way its star does. Serious film scholars could probably have a ball trying to pick apart exactly why Spelling seems to play so many blue-collar roles. Given that her father produced practically every TV show, ever, it's no surprise that her co-star here is another employee of Aaron Spelling: Patrick Muldoon, a Melrose Place vet who, alas, plays the material straight. Luckily, Richard Belzer adopts a pimp mustache and a campy aura of danger in the villain role. The result is a trashy trifle more amusing than embarrassing.