|Randall Batinkoff and Elizabeth Berkley|
Photojournalist Melanie Dempsey (Alicia Coppola) has always had strong romantic feelings for her best friend, the wealthy Danny Keegan (Randall Batinkoff), but along comes sexier Olivia Whitfield (Elizabeth Berkley of Showgirls) and freckle-faced Melanie finds herself with formidable competition. Melanie's perky assistant, Finn (Adriana DeMeo), suggests that her boss do a search, and then a full-on investigation, into Olivia, and discovers some disturbing facts. Has Olivia been married before to wealthy men who died; does she use different names; and is she embezzling from this alleged charity she runs? Although Melanie gathers strong evidence, dopey Danny falls head over heels, and their mutual friends accuse Melanie of making her accusations out of vile jealousy. Black Widow is a minor TV movie on a popular theme, but it is fast-paced, has some suspense, and is well-acted by all. David Ury makes an impression as Olivia's sinister associate, Bixler, as does Jeremy Howard as the computer specialist, Henry. Alicia Coppola is not related to Francis Ford Coppola. Mastroianni also directed Grave Misconduct.
Verdict: Entertaining enough time-passer. **1/2.