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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Beauty & The Briefcase Blu-Ray Review

Reviewed by Jami Ferguson
For those of you that don’t know, Beauty & the Briefcase is an ABC Family Original Movie and it stars former Disney star Hillary Duff, who I am generally not a fan of. I have a really hard time believing Hillary Duff is an adult in anything she does – but that’s slightly off topic. Other than Hillary Duff’, the only other person in the movie that I’ve ever heard of is Jamie Pressly – and the photo of her on the back of the Blu-Ray could easily be a snapshot from a really bad adult film where she is the “boss” about to reprimand a naughty employee.  Another reason I was worried about this movie is that I hate movies with tag-lines, especially cheesy ones like this: “Beauty & the Briefcase – falling in love is a full-time job.”  I am already rolling my eyes and the movie hasn’t started yet!

Film (2 out of 5 stars)

Beauty & The Briefcase is based on the book Diary of a Working Girl (and no it’s not that kind of working girl).  Hillary Duff stars as Lane Daniels, a fashion journalist in New York City.  The film begins with Lane explaining that there are no eligible men anywhere.   Everyone she meets is either taken, gay, a criminal, or has some other devastating flaw.  At this point, I’m thinking, “really, I’m supposed to believe Hillary Duff can’t get a date?” but I am willing to suspend my disbelief and continue to watch the movie.
Lane’s dream job is to work at Cosmopolitan magazine, and she even has a weird and creepy shrine to Cosmo on her wall.  Her photographer best-friend, and possibly landlord (that part confused me) gets her a pitch meeting at Cosmo. Lane’s ideas are quickly dismissed but she strikes up a conversation with the Cosmo editor played by Jamie Pressly. Lane and her beautiful editor both have trouble finding men and their discussion leads to the idea for a story to develop about how Lane’s been looking in the wrong places and she is given a chance to write about it.
Lane’s instructions are to get a job in the business world and then date as many co-workers as possible.   Lane has a random list of traits her perfect man must have and she  has to: compare the men she meets, hopefully find love, and write her article in a few weeks time.  Amazingly enough, that’s not such a difficult task despite the many requirements.  Lane starts by lying her way through an interview, creates a power failure so she isn’t tested on her skills and then gets to start her new job.  This new job is literally swarming with handsome, single men and a few women that Lane comments aren’t trying very hard to be noticed.  The invitations for dates are numerous and Lane starts her double life.
The one and only thing Lane is forbidden to do is to date men outside of the business world.   In typical romantic comedy fashion, that is when she meets Liam.   Liam seems to have everything on her list and she turns her double life into a triple life where she is lying to everyone in order to get closer to Liam.
Beauty & The Briefcase is by far, the most predictable of all the chick flicks.  It follows the chick flick formula from start to finish with no subtlety at all.   It’s no spoiler if I tell you Lane will have her heart broken, then realize that her boss is the love of her life.  He has none of the criteria on her list, yet her Cosmo editor is the first to notice that he is her Magic Man aka Mr. Right.   Lane’s realization follows shortly behind that of the editor.   She will even burst through a crowded conference room to profess her love and be carried away.

Video (3 1/2 out of 5 stars)

Beauty & The Briefcase is presented in 1080p High Definition wide-screen transfer with an aspect ratio of  1.78:1.  The video quality is pretty good.  The movie is very bright and colors are vibrant and there’s a decent amount of detail. Black levels are mostly good as well.

Audio (3 out of 5 stars)

Presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Beauty & the Briefcase is again, only adequate. This is a dialogue  heavy film and it’s clear for the most part but there are some muffled lines.  This is a front speaker focused film so don’t expect a  lot of satellite speaker action or panning across channels.

Special Features (0 out of 5 stars)

They made the Special Features category very simple to review.  There are none.  Usually, you get a trailer or even some previews of other movies made by the same company.  This time, there is not a single lonely special feature to speak of.

Final Thoughts (3 out of 5 stars)

Beauty and the Briefcase is a cute but highly predictable chick flick.  It was entertaining but clearly a made for TV movie.  Some people don’t like watching movies on TV where commercial interruptions are added.  I don’t like watching a movie that was clearly made for TV with the obvious pauses and fades out where an ABC commercial clearly belonged.   If you want to watch a pretty blonde girl struggle to be taken seriously, your time would be better spent watching Legally Blonde.
Order your copy today!

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