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Review: 'Maneater'

May 29, 2009 |  3:00 am

Chalke Watching the first half hour or so of "Maneater," a thinking woman may find herself grinding her teeth so angrily that, should she be of a certain age and dental history, she may need a new crown or two.

The Lifetime miniseries, the first half of which premieres Saturday and all of which is based on Gigi Levangie Grazer's book of the same name, follows the gold-digging adventures of Clarissa (Sarah Chalke) and her entourage of similarly acquisitively romantic pals. There's Gravy (Judy Greer) who's entering Year 10 of an affair with a married (though generous) man; Polo (Noureen DeWulf) who is a hypochondriac and unapologetically shallow; and Jennifer (Marla Sokoloff), the sweet-faced rich girl who has the hots for her handyman.

It's not just that the bubble-rific economics make "Maneater" feel incredibly pre-deluge, or that hating rich women has become such a bore. It's the idea of mantrap-scheming as narrative vehicle that makes a girl feel so blue. Ah, the sanctity of heterosexual marriage.

Clarissa, we are told, by her inevitable voice-over, owns L.A. -- and watching her swing into some local hot spot with a few winks and waves is supposed to prove this. But alas, she's over 30; the time when she will have to cede her tiara to some winsome young reality star looms. Also, her daddy is about to stop her allowance. So she decides to get married. That she has no groom, or even a steady since the dashing and dastardly Simon (Paul Leyden) ditched her, is not an issue. Armed with only an iPhone and credit cards, she plans her wedding to the unsuspecting Aaron (Philip Winchester), the latest scion turned producer to roll into town.

Read more: Review: 'Maneater'

-- Mary McNamara

Photo credit: Lifetime Television