I became a huge fan of Emma Caulfield during her all-too-brief stint on "Beverly Hills 90210." She played Jason Priestley's girlfriend during the mid-1990s, before 90210 went into terminal decline. When she disappeared from the show without a lot of explanation, I was sad, and basically stopped watching. She had a bright, vibrant energy in the role that was memorable. Emma went on to join "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and since has done other TV and web work, and I catch her appearances when I can. I admit it, I'm a huge fan.
So, when I saw this re-pairing of Emma and Priestley in a romantic
cable TV movie, I decided to give it a shot. It did not disappoint me.
While it is the usual TV movie fluff, "Banks" has likable stars and an
inoffensive plot. It pretends to show actual "real life" romantic
complications behind the scenes of a reality show like "The Bachelor."
Priestley stars as a young Hollywood star whose career is in trouble
and must star in such a show in order to rejuvenate his career.
Caulfield is one of his choices and an obvious top candidate from the
moment of her introduction.
The way the Caulfield character is portrayed is a little too good to be
true (she is entered for the show by someone else because she is too
good to ever do it herself, etc.). Echoing her "integrity" thing from
90210, she is very much the "good girl" here, perhaps a little too good
to be believable. Priestley's character, on the other hand, is made a
little too dim to be believable in order to make the underlying
conflict a little more blunt. Note, though, that the Priestley
character is dim only around the Caulfield character at times, but
pretty clever otherwise, and it is he who engineers the perfect ending.
No reason to give too many details away, suffice to say that
Priestley's best friend/manager, played by Bradley Cooper, is the real
lady's man of the two and the brains behind the whole operation. You
can figure out the entire plot from those few details without straining
too hard. The plot actually borrows a bit from an event that actually
happened on the MTV "Real World" reality show, when a producer
reportedly got involved with a participant, though that unintentional
"real life" situation did not have anything like the happy ending shown
here. The ending here, in fact, is a bit of a cop-out in my opinion,
but shows the only possible outcome where nobody could get hurt or
I'd like to think that Priestley remembered the same chemistry with
Emma that I did when putting this film together, but then, she has
great chemistry with everybody. While Jason is not at the top of his
game here, it still is good to see him back at work after his
tribulations of recent years. Cameron Bancroft also is around as part
of the "90210" reunion.
Sweet, likable fluff, recommended for hopeless romantics and fans of