After a messy divorce, Nikki (Lara Jean Chorostecki) is ready for a new beginning! She does what every recently divorced woman in a Lifetime film does ….. she moves to a small town, gets a job in a trendy boutique, and starts dating a handsome man.
At first, it seems like everything’s perfect. The boutique’s owner, Liz (Ispita Paul), is not only Nikki’s boss but soon becomes her best friend and mentor as well. Nikki’s teenager daughter, Brooke (Jaida Grace), befriends Liz’s daughter, Anna (Kayla Hutton). While it is true that Liz’s relationship with her ex-husband, Dan (Matt Wells), is a volatile one, that just gives Liz and Nikki something to bond over. Finally, there’s Gavin (Jamie Spilchuk). Nikki thinks that Gavin is just the perfect man, even though Liz has her doubtts.
Then, one day, Liz vanishes. The police suspect that Dan could be involved but, when they discover that Liz has rewritten her will to leave the boutique to Nikki, they start to suspect that Nikki could somehow be involved as well. Dan seems like the obvious culprit but as Nikki starts to investigate the disappearance on her own, she discovers that everything is not how it seems….
A Date With Danger is a pretty typical Lifetime film. If you’ve ever seen a Lifetime film before, you know who kidnapped Liz and you can probably guess why. Ordinarily, the fact that Lifetime films are kind of predictable is actually one of their strengths. These are movies that you watch so you can yell back at the TV and wonder in amazement whether or not any of the characters have actually watched a movie before. That said, it was hard not to feel that A Date With Danger would have benefitted from a few more characters. When there’s only three suspects and one of them is eliminated by virtue of being the film’s main character, it’s fairly easy to guess who is going to turn out to be the guilty party. A Date With Danger even acknowledges this fact by revealing the identity of Liz’s kidnapper rather early on.
The title’s a bit misleading, as Nikki does go on a date but it’s hardly the center of the film and one never really gets the feeling that she’s in any danger during the date. That said, the title is a good example of Lifetime showmanship. Danger is a word that will always catch your attention. As well, it brings to mind the classic Mother, May I Sleep With Danger? Date With Danger, unfortunately, never reaches the heights of that classic exercise in over the top melodrama and that’s a shame. Indeed, Date With Danger is surprisingly subdued for a Lifetime film. It’s possible, of course, that I’ve been spoiled by all of the recent “Wrong” films as I spent most of Date With Danger wondering when Vivica A. Fox was going to show up and say, “Looks like you went on the wrong date with danger.”
A Date With Danger is a bit too low-key for its own good, never quite embracing the melodrama with the enthusiasm that people like me have come to expect from a Lifetime film. That said, the small town setting looked really nice and Jamie Spilchuk was well-cast as the enigmatic Gavin. Even if it wasn’t particularly memorable by Lifetime standards, A Date With Danger did its job efficiently.