TV on DVD Review: Crimes of Fashion (2004)

Now Available to Own

AKA: Boss Girl

When it comes to convincing others you're able to handle a new job, telling them that “weakness is my strongest quality” isn't probably the way you want to go. But then again, most of us don't go to sleep as fashion students out-cliqued by Megan Fox and wake up to discover that the grandfather we've never known has left the family business for us to run, which just so happens to be the mafia.

In a far cry from working a double shift at her Big Bang Theory job of The Cheesecake Factory, actress Kaley Cuoco plays the former New Jersey orphan seamstress Brooke who becomes the Sarto family's Dapper Donna when – in a twist on Cinderella, obviously – kindly mobster George (The Sopranos' Uncle Junior aka Dominic Chianese) arrives at her college, Fashion University to turn nobody Brooke into a somebody mob boss.

Meanwhile, sure that Brooke's gawky over-achieving nerd persona is just some kind of cover used by a hardened criminal, the FBI sends in a young undercover officer to the school to pose as a west coast transfer student or in the case of this movie, to serve as Brooke's unlikely Prince Charming when the handsome student she used to have a crush on reveals himself to be as shallow as you'd expect a male model to be.

Director's Guild of America award-winning television helmer Stuart Gillard's Crimes of Fashion is overall silly made-for-cable fodder that's sure to garner enough dubious eye-rolls as it will goofy smiles as Brooke gives the mobsters a “fashiontabulous” makeover from sportswear to ready-to-wear couture.

Admittedly, though, even the most naïve viewer won't buy it for a second and likewise, even the mafia version of a fairy tale can't mask the fact that we're extremely tired of watching girls trip, tumble, and bumble their way into our hearts even before Brooke's first pratfall.

Yet while fans of Fox might be disappointed that the devious diva does little more than saunter through a scene with a catty remark, there's enough unexpected sunny warmth combined with Cuoco's innate adorable nature to keep you from hitting eject even though you're tempted well before the final runway show goes down.

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FTC Disclosure: Per standard professional practice, I received a review copy of this title in order to evaluate it for my readers, which had no impact whatsoever on whether or not it received a favorable or unfavorable critique.