The Lionsgate October 9, 2018 DVD release of the 2018 Lifetime Movie Network film "Her Stolen Past" shows that the spirit of these films live on; the ONLY disappointment regarding this thoroughly modern melodrama is that it does not star an '80com actress or a lead in a procedural.
The delightfully campy premise this time is straight out of the Harlequin novel of the same name. The suspense, drama, and romance begins when newbie medical resident Sonya Daniels (Shanice Banton of "Degrassi: The Next Generation") comes home to attend the funeral of her murdered mother. What happens next is pure Lifetime and Harlequin. An observation regarding this is that it is a shame that Sonya finding true love requires a relatively high body count.
The facts that Sonya is orphaned and that her beloved mother was murdered in an underground parking lot seem to not unduly phase her. Finding a mysterious diaper bag while cleaning out the home of her mother does trigger a relatively strong response that amplifies on finding a birth certificate in a pocket of the bag.
Romance enters the picture on Sonya hiring dreamy former cop/current private detective Brandon Hayes (Michael Xavier of "Bitten") to investigate the decades-old kidnapping of the baby to whom the certificate relates. The rest of the story is that the mystery infant is the birth child of a local wealthy couple that owns a corporation that is on the verge of a major event. Of course, all this ultimately ties together,
The dual sleuthing of Sonya and Brandon reveals that her mother is up to her elbows in the whole mess Discovering the circumstances of the kidnapping and the reasons for wanting to silence both Sonya and her mother are more surprising than learning the current identity of the child,
An amusing aspect of "Past" involves Brandon spending the night at the inherited house of Sonya after a home invasion. Having Brandon fold the sheets on the couch the next morning clearly is included ONLY to show that nothing happened, This scene is despite the house having at least two bedrooms.
All of this leads to a wonderful pulp fiction climax in which the blameless and the partially innocent are at the mercy of the villain and are about to meet their maker until the dashing hero crashes in and saves the day. The epilogue does include a nice twist.
The primary appeal of all this is the ongoing guilty pleasure fun of Lifetime movies. The producers play it smart by figuratively keeping to the script, The production team further plays it smart by preventing "Past" from looking dated. The clothing and house styles are traditional but still look modern, and the use of tech. is limited. Further, there are not any era-specific references.
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