Up until Saturday night, I would’ve said that the 1996 Sharon Lawrence-Brian Austin Green vehicle A Friend’s Betrayal (a.k.a. Stolen Youth) was my favorite Lifetime movie of all time. (“She wanted everything: freedom, friendship, and her best friend’s teenage son.”) But now, I’d have to answer Flirting With Forty, the Heather Locklear-Robert Buckley version of How Stella Got Her Groove Back (based on Jane Porter’s novel, actually) that I’ve managed to watch three times.
In case you missed it (watch a trailer after the jump), Locklear plays recent divorcée Jackie, a successful interior designer and mother of two, who receives a trip to Hawaii as a 40th birthday present. There, she meets Kyle (Buckley), a 27-year-old surfing instructor who makes his own organic surf wax. A surfing lesson turns into a drink, which turns into a steamy one-night stand, which turns into Jackie making so many flights from Denver to Hawaii that her married friends stage an intervention.
I know what you’re thinking: You just liked it because Buckley, the man candy on NBC’s Lipstick Jungle, is shirtless approximately 63 percent of his screen time. Not true.
Entirely. It’s that occasionally, I like to watch a soft-spoken stud admire a woman who has her s— together (and that woman can be of any age). Also, I was amazed that I didn’t have a problem buying the still-slammin’ Locklear as a woman who’d be afraid to wear a bikini, and that I actually found it mildly liberating when she got home from her first trip, unwrapped the red string one Kyle gave her, and wore it (with boots) to the curb as she tossed her security sweatshirt into the garbage on New Year’s Eve.
Anyone else catch Flirting With Forty and love it? And is there another Lifetime movie that could possibly top it? You’ll have to make a strong case: This one kept my mother, whom I was visiting, up until 2 a.m. watching it with me. (Okay, technically, she was watching it first, and I climbed into bed with her. “The wardrobe department certainly had an easy time with him,” she said about half-naked Buckley. See where I get it?)