"Falling for You" is a quality Lifetime movie by any LMN junkie's measure: It has a former "Beverly Hills, 90210" star, there's a club scene, and it's from the 90s, which means cheesy saxophone and inexplicable fog fills the city streets.
The "90210" star in question is Jennie Garth, who plays Meg Crane, a young city woman who's been hardened after a lifetime of orphanhood. One night while eating dinner alone at a nice restaurant, a guy sees her from outside, says something horribly condescending like, "I can tell you're lonely!" and walks into the restaurant. Who wouldn't be charmed by that?
So they set off to cure Jeannie's loneliness with some unforgettable wackiness (city variety) in the middle of the night. Jennie and her new beau go about this by forgoing a meal at the nice place she was sitting at and instead, stealing some room service from a hotel and eating it by their pool. Unfortunately, the movie shows all the giggling hilarity of stealing ice cream in the hallway, but not the part where they manage to break into the hotel's pool area, which also happens to contain a dangerous concrete ledge than Jennie climbs up on.
|Jennie Garth living on the edge|
The next morning, Jennie's in her red silk bath robe feeding pigeons out her window when she receives flowers from the mystery man...or are they from her ex? Her ex has been showing up in creepy places, like asleep in her bedroom (he still had keys) and when she's on a date. And it's clear that one of Jen's paramours is connected to the blonde-out-the-window because creepy violin music plays every time they're on screen.
In fact, according to the violins, even Detective Billy Dee Williams is suspicious. He has a rooftop greenhouse where he grows pink roses, which keep showing up elsewhere in the movie. So...that's something, right? As he's a cop in a 90s movie, it won't surprise you to hear he has a partner that he begrudgingly respects even though they have their differences. (In this case, Billy Dee Williams is black and his partner is white, or as the partner says, "I'm civilized, he's not.")
|Billy Dee gets dissed on by his obnoxious partner|
near the club's house ladder
Anyway, it doesn't take long before all the suspicious music--and even the entire ex-boyfriend and Billy Dee greenhouse subplots--are rendered useless, because we figure out that Jeannie Garth's new boyfriend is the killer. How? Well, because he comes over one night and throws her out the window. **But! She lands on the pigeon ledge a few stories down, and doesn't die!
She's soon ensconced in a fuzzy blue bathrobe at the hospital, and has the most popular illness in the history of film, amnesia. She refuses to talk to Billy Dee and his partner, but makes sure to tell the press that she can't remember the past few months, including meeting a mystery man who probably killed a bunch of other ladies.
Meanwhile, the killer has removed his glasses, and we get a rare peek at him inside his home, doing some mad pull-ups. And uh oh, we see on that all over his walls are carefully matted and framed news clippings about various high-rise murders! That must be awkward when the super stops by unexpectedly! The camera zooms in dramatically on an impressionist painting of a blonde lady and hovers there for a melodramatically long time while the killer grunts in the background.
|A rare scene in the movie that isn't incomprehensibly blurry|
due to being in a dark room or alley in a 90s TV movie
But just when you think he's going to try to kill her again, you realize she's been faking her amnesia all along!! It was just a clever ruse so that he wouldn't try to kill her again...and so that she could kill him!
|Veteran TV movie bit player Gerry Quigley happens|
to show up at the same precinct that Billy Dee works at
to explain the Robert Frost connection
Now, here's where I have a real bone to pick with the realism in "Falling for You." (Besides the fact that there is fog in every scene, making the 90s-TV-movie blurriness even worse.) I happen to teach a creative writing class for seniors, and I can say from personal experience that their attendance record is spotty at best, even when you're discussing one of the most generic American writers in history. Besides the countless doctors' appointments to schedule around, there's the real possibility of breaking your hip if it's been raining.
The next thing that happens is that Billy Dee Williams (who is hangin' out by the front desk, like all the coolest homicide detectives do) is like, "Wait, where did she live?!" and the gay teacher goes, "uhhhmm, I think she said the East Side." BD quickly looks her up in the phone book that he keeps nearby, sees she has the same address as Jeannie Garth, and realizes that the killer has murdered the old lady so he can move into Jeannie Garth's building and try to kill her again!!! (The realism of this part I had no problem with.)
|Jennie Garth relaxing after her second near-murder,|
shortly before her third near-murder
Luckily, this time she's able to fend him off with some karate skills (oh yeah, there was one scene in the movie earlier on where it's established that she's learning karate). And then she tosses him through the window--how even more ironic! This time he goes ass-first, and it's confirmed that his body needs to be scraped off the sidewalk.
After some buddy cop summation lines with his partner, Billy heads upstairs to Jeannie's balcony, where he puts a coat over her shoulders, calls her "kid," and gives her some sage advice: "Sometimes it's hard to see the danger in things until it's too late." Jeannie puts her head on his shoulder and some fog floats over them. Yes, that's really how this movie ends.
You can watch "Falling for You" in 10 parts on YouTube, and it's currently on LMN On Demand, which can be found under "Free Movies on Demand" on some cable systems.