'All That Glitters' Review: Lifetime film predicts how Ruby turning into Giselle could reflect in her daughter Pearl
Lifetime's adaptation of VC Andrews' work continues with its caricature, but there's a hidden gem inside
Spoilers for 'All That Glitters'
Part of the appeal of VC Andrews' Landry Saga was how much fun the narrative had with the doppelganger element. The effect would entail heroine Ruby Landry/Duman/Tate (Raechelle Banno) hallucinating her own self, but in the world of the Landrys, it means being fronted with secret evil twins later in life and them trying to wreck everything you consider happiness. Ruby's tribulations with her sister Giselle (Karina Banno) continue as she marries her half-brother, has an affair with her baby's father who is married to her evil sister, who then goes into a coma, and Ruby trades places with her.
It's a lot to wrap one's mind around so there's no point trying to comprehend the world Andrews has weaved with venomous relationships, vile secrets and voodoo. Lifetime's brazen caricature of the sensational soap opera style of the author, the only thing that entertains is Ruby becoming Giselle and immediately fitting into the glass slippers of the monstrously bratty princess. Of course, Ruby can pull herself out of the hole she slides into so easily, but she will once again have to be faced with her doppelganger, speculatively in the form of her own daughter.
The story begins with Paul (Sam Duke), Ruby's half-brother and former high school sweetheart proposing to her. Ruby refuses right away but changes her mind after she has a close call with a sexual assault and escapes to Paul's loving arms. Ruby married Paul who has become filthy rich, the agreement between them strictly prohibits sex and romance, even though Paul keeps showering Ruby with riches and she keeping wistfully mooning about Beau (Ty Wood). The story is set in the '70s, so it's not altogether garish but there's only a certain amount of caricature one can take at a single go. Soon after Ruby marries Paul and eventually caves into consummating the nuptials, Giselle spits brutal news her way: Beau, the love of her life, the father of her child, who had gotten engaged to a Parisian heiress is back in town.
In time lapses, we cut to Ruby finding out Giselle has married Beau, coming across them at her stepmother Daphne's funeral, and next thing we know, it's been relayed that Ruby and Beau are falling back in love. Paul is as shattered as the whiskey glass he smashes against the wall upon finding out Ruby has cheated on him with Beau, and forces her to never meet him again. At this point, the agreement of their marriage is reinforced again, but seeing how heartbroken it leaves Ruby, Paul easily agrees to live with Giselle once the twin is in a coma, so Ruby and Beau can have a shot at being a family with her daughter Pearl.
This is where the entertaining part begins as Ruby tries her earnest to shoo people away with her viper tongue as Giselle. She snaps and snips at the drop of a hat and starts getting concerned with who she's becoming as quickly as she forgets that her sister, whom the world thinks is her, is dying with her husband. It never occurs to Ruby to come clean lest she ruins her perfect little paradise, and that absolutely shatters any idea of another dimension opening up in Ruby's single-faceted sweet princess character. It's fun to see Raechelle Banno encapsulate what her twin sister Karina Banno has done with Giselle; her Ruby is interesting only when she is being another person and that should tell viewers all about the plot.
The ending is of course happy, minus Paul – who is jilted by the idea of Karina dying, and thus the real Ruby never returning to him. He dies by suicide. His stepmother Gladys then forcibly tries to take custody of Pearl who was introduced to society as Ruby's child with Paul, not Beau. But Ruby plays the mother sentiment on the first day of court and Octavius Tate admits Paul was the son of Ruby's mother and thus, the case doesn't stand at all. But years into the future, where Pearl is older and Ruby is pregnant again, worry knocks on her door when her eldest gets increasingly curious about the box with voodoo items. What shadows lie the little one's life ahead?
One could speculate Ruby going rogue trying to play Giselle was cut short by the goodness inside her, but will Giselle's venomous spite and manic evilness return in the form of Pearl as a grown-up? There's an ominous shot with the parents laughing, while Pearl's stare zone away to the box full of spook. Could it be that Ruby's fateful fortune is far from being off her grandmother's hook?
'All that Glitters' premiers on Friday, March 26, at 8 PM only on Lifetime.