PG. 1995. Adam Sandler hopes to inherit the family business but, as he’s only a few IQ points removed from a cretin, the family demands he repeat school. Whoever came up with this one could use the extra schooling too. Terrible comedy that hasn’t a single original idea and contains every crude, scatological remark you’ve ever heard. Darren Mcgavin. 8.30pm, Gem
M. 2004. Wildly overlong revenge drama from director Tony Scott replete with overwrought, tiresome camera gimmicks. Denzel Washington is a grim former assassin, now hard-drinking bodyguard for a kid (Dakota Fanning) in Mexico City. When she’s kidnapped he goes into full payback mode. Despite the length and Scott’s indulgences, it’s pretty good. Radha Mitchell. 9.30pm, One
M. 2007. True story of a group of soccer hooligans who rose through the ranks to become enforcers for the mob, leading to a bloody UK gangland killing in 1995. Well made but undoubtedly brutal film that will have limited appeal, except, happily, to turn off any would-be ‘‘bovver boys’’ from following the life. Craig Fairbrass, Ricci Harnett. S SHE nears the end of her first season starring on the US TV drama Unforgettable and, more immediately, faces another long shooting day as the detective who never forgets a clue, Australian actress Poppy Montgomery sips her morning latte and does a little remembering.
For instance, she thinks back on her former series, Without a Trace, and how hard it was when that concluded three years ago. For seven seasons she played Samantha Spade, a field agent in a missing persons task force ‘‘and when you’ve done one character that long’’ she says, ‘‘there’s a grieving process, almost, when it ends’’.
She had also had a baby, Jackson, with then-partner Adam Kaufman as the show drew to a close, so she opted to take time off.
But after spending Jackson’s first years as a stay-at-home mother, Montgomery received the script for Unforgettable.
She was being invited to play Carrie Wells, an NYPD detective whose rare condition renders her incapable of forgetting anything, including crime-solving details that no one else would even notice, let alone remember.
Montgomery, like millions of others, had seen a 60 Minutes story in 2010 that explored the real-life condition called Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory and featured actress Marilu Henner, one of just a handful in the world who have this gift of total recall. (Henner would become a consultant for Unforgettable.)
‘‘That was a fascinating report and I was intrigued by the character I was being asked to play. I also liked that I would get to do stunts,’’ Montgomery says.
‘‘I like playing tough, gunslinging chicks. And I got to have red hair.’’
As a child growing up in Australia, Montgomery had hair that was ‘‘red like Pippi Longstocking’s’’. At 19, she left
Poppy Montgomery and Dylan Walsh star in Sydney for Hollywood, determined to make it as an actress. In 2001 she won the starring role in Blonde, going blonde as Marilyn Monroe in that TV film of the Joyce Carol Oates novel.
‘‘My hair stayed blonde for Trace. Then, when Trace was done, I didn’t let my natural hair colour grow in – it would be a lie to say that – but still I decided to go closer to what I believed at that point was my natural hair colour,’’ she says.
Hair isn’t Montgomery’s sole concern these days: She is the centrepiece of a weekly hour drama with plenty of action and lots of dialogue for her to learn. It represents a major promotion from Trace, where she was one of the missing persons team led by series star Anthony Lapaglia.
Now she is the leader, with a supporting cast comprising Michael Gaston, Kevin Rankin, Daya Vaidya, Jane Curtin and Dylan Walsh. Was Montgomery, 36, prepared for the burdens of stardom?
‘‘By now I know what I’m doing,’’ she says. ‘‘And on this show I’m realising how much I didn’t know that I knew, from seven years of doing it over and over on Trace and absorbing so much from the people I worked with.’’