Picks and Pans Review: The Woman He Loved
updated 04/04/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 04/04/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT
Perhaps they were really like this: As portrayed by Anthony (Bluegrass) Andrews and Jane Seymour in the TV movie about their romance, the Duke of Windsor (once King Edward VIII) was a twit, a wimp and a boor, and the Duchess of Windsor (once Wallis Simpson) was a low-class slut of a social climber. But if these famous lovers really were like that, then it makes a person wonder: Why make a movie about them? And why watch? The show begins at the end, when the duke dies and the duchess—wearing dreadful makeup that makes her too look like death—returns to England, the country that "hated me for taking away their king." Then the show quickly flashes back to a happier time when Wallis threw "the most original parties" for snooty ladies who gossiped about the future king: "He happens to be the most desirable bachelor in the world!" But judging from Andrews' portrayal of the man, it's difficult to see what makes him so desirable; he may have Clark Gable's voice, but he also has Dumbo's ears and a robot's grace. Andrews expends too much effort acting like the duke and not enough effort just acting. Seymour falls into a similar trap with her Baltimore accent. But the movie's faults are not all theirs. The Woman He Loved is a biography with no life, a romance with no heart.