'Tribute' on Lifetime: Expecting something steamier from Jason Lewis and Brittany Murphy

Robertsmurphylewis_l A month of Nora Roberts’ adaptations on Lifetime comes to an end, and having seen Jason Lewis in Sex and the City and Brittany Murphy in 8 Mile, I thought we’d be saving the best love scene for last. We did not. The plot of Tribute (pictured) was actually pretty decent: A child star-turned-contractor (Murphy) fixes up her late Oscar-winning grandmother’s Virginia farmhouse and ends up investigating her alleged suicide three decades earlier while hooking up with the famous graphic novelist next door, Ford (Lewis), and receiving death threats from someone who doesn’t want her in town. Perhaps their two abbreviated trysts — only one of which even got Lewis shirtless — would’ve been gratifying had Ivan Sergei and Lost‘s Emilie de Ravin not outdone themselves in last Saturday’s premiere, High Noon. Or, perhaps our minds were better off pondering how cruel those quick cuts were instead of how you probably wouldn’t actually fall to the ground if someone spit in your face; how strangely the wife of the real estate agent had always acted around Cilla; and how obvious it was that Murphy had a stunt double for her fight scene with the wife (who’d drugged Cilla’s pregnant grandmother over an affair with her husband and was attempting to do the same to Cilla, a reminder of the humiliation — only Cilla "CSI‘d her ass").

What did you think of Tribute, and how would you rank the four latest Nora Roberts’ films in terms of overall enjoyment? I’d go Northern Lights, Tribute, High Noon, then Midnight Bayou.

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  • amanda

    I was very disappointed! being a fan of Nora Roberts these movies were crap compared to the books.

  • bcoli

    I wasn’t planning on watching this, but I was totally distracted by her eyebrows in the commercials. What was the stylist/costumer thinking?

    • Bella

      No kidding….I was thinking the same thing.

  • as oso

    this was probably one of the worst things I have ever seen. I am not a nora roberts fan, but, as someone earlier mentioned, I was somewhat intoxicated by britney murphy’s impossible eyebrows in all the ads, and then came across the debut while enduring insomnia. The plot has some potentially interesting elements and i can only hope that the novel actually connects things in a believable way. But why is Murphy’s character so happy and nonchalant every time she sits at her comatose ex husband’s bedside? Why, after receiving about 10 separate threats on her life do the police not actually do anything except “send a cruiser by {her} house every few hours?” Why does meet Ford, immediately shun him, and then immediately fall into his arms for comfort when her ex-husband is attacked? WHY ARE HER EYEBROWS SO BROWN AND HUGE? And why, if she is such a strong woman, does she smile at those men leering at her during the contractor’s test? odd, enraging and lacking any passion. HA!

  • Vince

    probably sufficiently entertaining to glance up at occasionally, with the sound on mute, while reading a good book …
    ( not nroberts!)

  • LK

    I’ve never read a Nora Roberts novel, nor had I watched any of the movies from previous weeks so I had no idea what to expect. Honestly for the longest time I thought Jason Lewis was the one behind all the notes and such. He always seemed so distant. Although I think they’re both fine actors (Um, hello…Brittany Murphy in Girl, Interrupted) but they had no chemistry. It was definitely flat.

  • Verity

    I thought “Tribute” was such a disappointment, then again, I wasn’t really expecting much since I wasn’t a big fan of the casting. Trust me, the characters are much more interesting and appealing in the book than the way BM and JL portrayed them. Plus, the plot was way better and actually made sense. None of the chemistry came across on screen and I agree, the love scenes were a let down. But the thing I found the most ridiculous was watching BM try to use a sledgehammer and JL try to convince us she was a super-strong woman in the process. Please! She looked like an eight-year-old trying to win a stuffed teddy bear at the county fair. She could barely lift the thing. Here’s my order of adaptations from best to worst: High Noon, Northern Lights, Tribute, Midnight Bayou.

  • Mandi

    I liked it. It wasn’t as steamy as the others in the set and was more on par with the first batch that came out last year. My list would go Midnight Bayou, Tribute, High Noon, Northern Lights. I thought Northern Lights was horrible and the two leads had no chemistry. I thought Brittany and Jason did a very decent job acting-wise in this one though I agree their chemistry was a little off.

  • val

    I could only sit through five minutes, but it wasn’t Brittany’s eyebrows that did me in — it was her awful awful awful hair. God bless her, but it looked like she stuck her finger in an electrical outlet. Was it part a renovation scene that I missed?

  • tamuchi

    I had tuned into this one because of the previous Popwatch blogs and was sorely disappointed in Tribute. The story was okay, but sometimes Brittany Murphy can’t act her way out of a paperbag. I liked her in Love and Other Disasters, but I’m not big on her dramatic skillz (didn’t see 8 Mile). And then there’s Jason Lewis…what gives? Yeah, I expected more shirtlessness from him given his Sex and the City stint…or at least more hotness. Overall, the whole thing was kinda meh. I’ll have to try and catch the other three adaptations at some point.

  • chg1008

    This was one of the most painful movies to sit through. I’m not familiar with Brittany Murphy’s work(?) but I agree about the eyebrows and hair. Couldn’t she wash her hair, get an eyebrow wax??? Jason Lewis, have heard the name, have no clue who he is EXCEPT I now know he is a HORRIBLE actor, extremely horrible! The woman who played the villain, another HORRIBLE actor. I love Nora Roberts/JD Robb, but this has to be the worst of the movies about one of her books.

  • chg1008

    This was one of the most painful movies to sit through. I’m not familiar with Brittany Murphy’s work(?) but I agree about the eyebrows and hair. Couldn’t she wash her hair, get an eyebrow wax??? Jason Lewis, have heard the name, have no clue who he is EXCEPT I now know he is a HORRIBLE actor, extremely horrible! The woman who played the villain, another HORRIBLE actor. I love Nora Roberts/JD Robb, but this has to be the worst of the movies about one of her books.

    • Sklya

      Diana Scarwid is an extremely fine actress who held her own with Faye Dunaway. She was in a poorly written movie. There is only so much an actor can do with a bad script. I’d hate to have seen a lesser actor take this on.

  • EntertainmentBlogger

    The only reason I will ever turn on Lifetime is because Project Runway is now headed there.

    http://movies-tv-entertainment.blogspot.com/

  • loves tv

    I think some of you guys are way into looks. I think her eyebrows and hair are fine,and not worthy of obsession. I loved midnightbayou. Northern Lights not so much. The movies are fine, but hate the endings. It always seems their is something lacking. It is like they have just been cut off.

  • Kristen

    I started taping the movie, thinking I’d get to see Jason Lewis shirtless. Then I turned it on when they were climbing into sleeping bags, and he left his shirt on, so I figured no gratuitous nudity would be forthcoming. Also I didn’t like his hair. So, no, didn’t watch it, but thanks for the blog post!

  • jenferner

    I think my DVR did me a favor when half way through the movie all of the sudden I had audio and no visual. I couldn’t watch the rest as a result. Brittany’s eyebrows needed a place all of their own but not on her face. What was with the makeup on that girl? And don’t even get me started about the hair. Who the hell looks like that waking up? I think this role could have been cast better.
    Jason Lewis wasn’t bad and he looks a lot like a younger version of the guy playing Daniel on Ugly Betty. I am not familiar with Jason’s other roles so I don’t know how much better or worse he could have been.
    I’m so glad that the book was so much better because if this was my only exposure to Nora Roberts it would have been my last. It’s a good thing I still have the Twilight series to finish reading because now my time won’t be so wasted.

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