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In a rare miss, new Hallmark Hall of Fame is a dud because female lead such a cold fish
Julia Stiles and David Walton play Hannah Higgins and Elliot Doolittle--yes, really--in Hallmark's 'The Makeover.'
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By Rob Hedelt
THOUGH it doesn't
Sunday night's "The Makeover" is a swing and a major miss, a disappointing dud that's hard to watch.
It's a failure because lead actress Julia Stiles, as Hannah Higgins, comes off not just as a cold fish, but as an actress who looks like she'd rather be anywhere than in this movie.
The film also features a laughable transformation in the other lead role.
Elliot Doolittle (David Walton)--yes, it's Higgins and Doolittle in this take on "My Fair Lady"--goes from thick-accented beer delivery guy to savvy and smooth political candidate quicker than that cute baby can tout E*Trade.
Viewers might have forgiven that snap-your-fingers transformation if it led to something sweet in the romantic part of this tale.
Alas, there's more romance to be found in the nightly news.
The set-up: educational consultant Higgins, who runs for Congress to change policy, comes close in her bid but loses because her cold and elitist personality turns off voters.
This part Stiles nails. Her character is so uncaring and stiff she's painful to watch. Her Higgins would rather correct someone's grammar than acknowledge they exist.
Through a chance meeting with Doolittle as he's delivering beer kegs at her election night party, Higgins and partner Colleen Pickering (Camryn Manheim) decide he's the answer to winning an election.
They figure that, unlike Higgins, Doolittle is someone everyone likes. Their lesson from her loss is that likability is the key to getting someone elected to push their educational reforms.
The pair figure they can teach him what he needs to know about education, politics and talking to voters.
Walton's good enough to come off as likable as the unlikely candidate, though he goes in an instant from rough to refined in his speech.
But the romance between Doolittle and Higgins is the show's real failing. It's the ultimate fulfillment of the notion of opposites attracting.
WHAT: "The Makeover"WHEN: Tonight at 9 WHERE: ABC