The Adventures of Louanna Lee Episode 3: Lovin’ Fool
Guest Review by Amanda Reyes ©2010
Starring: Louanna Lee, George Stover, Leanna Chamish, Victoria Lynn
Special Guest Stars: Jennifer Rouse, Ryan Thomas, Brian St. August, Alfred Guy
Featuring: Les Bradley, Bob Clark, Belle Constantine, Shayna Doll, Will Haza, Robert Long II, Jeff Martin, Erik Kristopher Myers, Scott Nelson, Zach Phoenix, Wayne Shipley
Written by: Mark Squirek
Special Visual Effects by: Mitch Klein
Director of Cinematography: Jeff Herberger
Produced by: Lee Doll
Directed by: Jeff Herberger and Robert Long II
The Louanna Lee series is a little like Nancy Drew meets That’s So Raven. You’ve got your headstrong teenage detective who can piece together a mystery much more efficiently than any police department, but her adventures have that Nickelodeon over-the-top quality. The supporting cast elicits lots of giggles and some of the characters are straight up comic book. It’s an interesting combination that gives Louanna Lee a little bit of a unique edge.
In episode three, titled Lovin’ Fool, Louanna (playing herself) helps her fashion savvy Aunt Jenny (Jennifer Rouse) uncover a crazed clothing conspiracy which is underfoot in Baltimore. Three designers are kidnapped by their nefarious competitor (Ryan Thomas), and only Louanna and her crazy cool aunt can solve the crime before it’s too late!
Louanna’s BFF Vicky (Victoria Lynn) and her mom, played by Leanna Chamish are standouts. Vicky is great as the almost-not-too-smart friend, who still manages to always come through for her buddy. There’s something really sweet and real about her and she steals every scene she’s in (and I was glad she got to keep the jeans). Leanna’s character levels out the otherwise goofy premise and she has a very supportive and motherly quality about her. Louanna Lee’s life is full of several family dynamics and when there’s tension between Jenny and her father (George Stover), Chamish brings a bit of rationale and kindly advice to the table. Although the relationships are never completely explored the way they would be in something more akin to drama, there is a sense of something legitimate in there which translated well.
Having just moved to Maryland myself, I feel like I got a lot more out of the location shots than I have just by hunting around the state on my own. Regionally shot productions have the advantage of bringing a strong dose of reality to their project because they normally shoot unadorned sections of towns the audience might not normally see. There are many locations (which is sometimes a neglected detail in low budget indie films), which adds brisk pacing to the episode. It also brought a dash of realism to an admittedly far reaching premise, giving the film a dose of both the potentially real and the comically absurd.
Our Little Miss TNT has a nice girl next door quality, but the heart of the film lies in the comedy. The more humorous characters, such as Male Man Pete (Erik Kristopher Meyers) and our own Robert Long as the hilarious rental car guy is where you’ll find the strength of the show (and you’ll also see where I got that Nickelodeon vibe). This lighthearted romp can be goofy but not in the kind of way that outstays its welcome, as there’s just enough mystery to keep the whole affair balanced.
The picture quality of the DVD is great and there are lots of extras including bloopers, music videos, previews and trailers. Many regionally shot indies tend to be either dramas or horror and Lovin’ Fool makes for a refreshing break from the norm. The concentration on humorous madcap adventures is good and I hope the series continues to delve into the wackiness of the premise.
About Amanda Reyes: Coming to Maryland by way of Hollywood, CA Amanda Reyes has a deep love for horror and for the far too neglected made for television movie genre of the 70s and 80s. She writes about both for various sites, including Fangirtastic, Retro Slashers and others, but most of her work, or links to it, can be found on her blog called Made for TV Mayhem.
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