The Murder of Princess Diana



9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25

If you're among the many who have enjoyed seeing Jennifer Morrison play intern Allison Cameron on "House," then do not -- repeat: do not -- waste your time watching her play a puddinghead reporter in this cheap and sensational film.

The telefilm, from Universal TV Ltd., marks the 10th anniversary of the death of Princess Diana by exploiting every suspicion ever held by every conspiracy nut, including many, like Diana's pregnancy, that have conclusively been proved false. At the same time, it invents new facts, events and dialogue out of whole cloth to bolster rumors that will not die as long as there are vultures eager to pick at whatever scraps might still remain on the carcass.

Morrison plays Rachel Visco, who just happens to know all the right people and also is present when the actual accident occurs, giving this pathetic script from Emma Reeves and Reg Gadney a faux authenticity. Morrison is so encumbered by ham-fisted writing and clumsy storytelling that the only obvious villain would seem to be her agent.

Although filmed on location, the production values are about what you might expect from a film school project. The music was blandly generic, but the screener had temporary audio, which raises the hope that at least one facet of the film might be improved. Director John Strickland, despite the liberties taken with the facts, is unable to build suspense or, for the most part, even much interest.

A British police inquiry ruled in October that Diana's death was an accident. That means even that even the title, arguably the movie's most provocative part, is based on a false assumption.