Happy Birthday to a wonderful and special lady, our own Barbara Hale! And Happy Birthday to Della Street as well!
I wonder if MeTV really did plan things on purpose, airing The Reckless Romeo on the night before Barbara’s birthday. For those on Eastern and Pacific times, it aired completely on the 18th. For those on Mountain and Central times, it certainly ended on the 18th. Barbara is 93 today! So awesome. And since she’s one of the few surviving Perry cast members, and the only surviving member of the original Core Five, it’s a very significant day for all Perry fans.
I loved the little subplot in the film about Della’s birthday. Perry’s exchanges with Ken about it were so amusing. And then the gifting scene at the very end was lovely. What a sweet close to the film, with the pearls, a hug, and a kiss. It was very enjoyable to see how close Perry and Della had become through the years, even though I don’t accept the movies as absolute canon.
As for the main plot, well, we got another guy who couldn’t seem to keep his mind off of fooling around with women. And his lecherous behavior eventually got him killed. It’s hard to feel too sorry for him, especially after he ruined the lives of all the women mentioned when they were trying to get their lives set in order again. I particularly felt terrible for Nora, who had wanted to run for Congress and then felt she couldn’t with the book blackening her reputation.
I was kind of surprised that the reporter, Charlie (or Charley?), ended up being a good girl. She was so obnoxious, the typical frustrating type of reporter that you just can’t seem to get rid of, no matter how hard you try. Even the cliché stunt of getting Ken arrested so he can’t follow her. Ugh. I loved how Ken realized and got back at her for that. And then Perry at last reveals that he actually likes her and she finally ends up shaping up, with her and Ken seeming to have some romantic interest in each other by the end. Of course, I doubt she’s seen in any other film.
I was thinking that the most obvious solution to the mystery was that the killer had to be Roxanne’s helper, since she was the only other person who knew about the dress. I was glad they didn’t go that route and instead had the real killer see the dress from a window.
As for the identity of the killer, it seemed to come out of nowhere again, although perhaps some people guessed it was the fiancée since when a character seems completely unbothered by someone’s actions, the reality is that sometimes they’re not. The bull statue seemed to come out of nowhere too. I don’t recall it being featured during the murder scene, or mentioned at all until Perry noted it was broken. I don’t know how he even knew it was a bull when it was in pieces like that. It seems like there should have been some mention of it early on, when it was together, so that it would make more sense when Perry identified it as a bull when it was in pieces.
The movie had some fun scenes. I loved when Perry showed how it was preposterous to think that Roxanne could have worn all the perfume the witnesses knew the killer wore. Yikes, that would be terrible, to break into a rash that severe from just a small dab of the stuff.
I did rather raise an eyebrow at his stunt with all the women in red. It was clever and amusing, granted. But it was definitely something akin to what Perry might have done on the television series, and I was surprised the prosecutor and/or the judge didn’t protest the courtroom theatrics!
Lieutenant Brock has been interesting to watch in both this film and last night’s. He was kind of insufferably obnoxious in last night’s, but then he did have some more tolerable scenes later on, and he was pretty good in this one. It’s nice to see that he’s on pretty good terms with Perry. I guess that kind of continues the pattern that the television series eventually fell into when the police got more relaxed and friendly with Perry and company.
Considering a subplot of this movie involved Della’s birthday, however, it seemed like she didn’t really have very satisfactory screentime. I wish she would be a little more prominent in some of these films, especially since she’s one of the only original cast members who appears in them. It seemed like she had better screentime in some of the earlier installments.
But in any case, it was a nice movie and a nice wrap-up to another Perry week on MeTV. Hopefully I can get to The Shooting Star soon and hopefully I’ll be aware ahead of time when MeTV does another Perry movie week (if they continue this feature for much longer).