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Lauren Lee Smith

'Cinemanovels' falls short as homage to romantic melodramas

'Cinemanovels' falls short as homage to romantic melodramas

If the romantic melodrama were in need of vindication, it would find a stalwart defender in "Cinemanovels." Writer-director Terry Miles' revisionist homage is a thoughtful thesis on the melodrama but a letdown in its attempt to serve as an affecting example of that genre.

Birth and death equally haunt Grace (Lauren Lee Smith), who is unable to tell her husband that she isn't ready for children and who is reeling from the passing of her estranged father, a much-lauded director of stylized tragedies. Despite her lingering anger at his abandonment, Grace agrees to organize a retrospective of her father's work.

The auteur's filmography includes indignant Frenchwomen...

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