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Alyssa Milano in Brazen.
Alyssa Milano in Brazen.
Photo: Sergei Bachlakov/Netflix






1/5 Stars


Mystery writer Grace Miller has killer instincts when it comes to motive - and she'll need every bit of expertise to help solve her sister's murder.


Brazen had the makings of a good B-list movie, especially with Alyssa Milano as the lead, but unfortunately, it turned out to be a bad one-star Hallmark movie that somehow found its way to Netflix.

Adapted from Nora Robert's novel Brazen Virtue, the movie tells the story of Grace (Alyssa Milano), a crime author/expert who heads back to her family home to see her sister, Kathleen (Emilie Ullerup). Upon arriving home from a date with Kathleen's hunky neighbour Ed (Sam Page), who happens to be a detective, Grace discovers her sister has been murdered.

What I expected from this synopsis was something dark, thrilling and mysterious. But what I got was a hot mess of a misplaced romance, a predictable investigation and a dull mystery.

Brazen has all the characteristics you would expect from a Hallmark movie, starting with its cast. I absolutely loved Milano's appearance in the Netflix series Insatiable. She was funny, entertaining and really belonged. In addition to that, she has recently appeared in several TV movies, including her most recent gig in the Lifetime movie Tempting Fate. Her acting in Brazen is fine, but the script and her character's plotline is just so all over the place. She's a famous author, and because she writes crime novels, she's also a crime expert. She has a love story blossoming on the side-line of her own sister's death. And she surpasses all the professional rules when it comes to investigating a murder because, well, she can, I guess.

Milano's supporting cast doesn't fall far from the tree. Ullerup starred in the popular Hallmark series Chesapeake Shores. In Brazen, I felt that her character was supposed to present as this perfect, innocent woman with a deep, dark dominatrix secret. Sadly, the way it was delivered was far from the feeling you got when first entering Christian Grey's Red Room. Sam Page, who starred in The Bold Type, has a shelf full of TV movies, including A Godwink Christmas: Second Chance, First Love for Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. I would, therefore, expect his performance here to at least be cheesy enough to make me blush, but I just found him annoying and problematic.

If the cast's performances aren't enough for you to roll your eyes, then all the subplots and plot holes in this Lifetime movie wannabe will. Never in the history of cornball fiction films would this storyline make sense. It's just one conflict of interest after the other.

Brazen is sitting comfortably in the top ten shows and films on Netflix, but heaven alone knows why. This is just another of those woman-in-peril made-for-TV movies that are the backbone of Lifetime and Hallmark and definitely not what I would expect from a streaming giant such as Netflix.

One of the most ridiculous lines comes from a scene between Grace and Ed as they embrace. "Once isn't going to be enough," he tells her in an alluring voice. Well, all I have to say is watching Brazen once is one too many.


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