Last night, once I had watched the new episodes of Survivor and South Park and the series finale of One Tree Hill (yes, it was still on the air), I decided to watch a Lifetime movie before bedtime. (And by bedtime, I mean time that I spent in bed because I didn’t get a wink of sleep last night.) Anyway, the movie that I ended up watching was called Do No Harm.
Why Was I Watching It?
Because it was a Lifetime movie, of course! As if you had to ask…
As well, Do No Harm is the latest made-for-TV Canadian film to make its American “world premiere” on the Lifetime Movie Network. At times, it seems like every single film that pops up on Lifetime was sent to us by Canada. Certainly, the best ones do. Myself, I love watching these films and spotting the scenes where Montreal is obviously standing in for New York City. I also enjoy how these films always seem to star a vaguely recognizable American TV star and a bunch of pleasant and polite people who all have French last names. Proud American that I am, I occasionally fantasize about running off to Canada and Lifetime and Degrassi are to blame…
What Was It About?
So, Emily Edmunds (played by Deanna Russo) is a fashion designer who is engaged to the perfect guy but then, a few days before their wedding, her fiancée goes on a business trip and, a few hours after he leaves, Emily sees a news report about how his plane has crashed and there’s no survivors so Emily decides to kill herself but since there wouldn’t be a movie if she died after the first 15 minutes, Emily is saved and ends up getting checked into a mental hospital where she bonds with her therapist Dr. Thorne (Lauren Holly) but — uh oh! — it turns out that Dr. Thorne has some issues of her own and ends up developing a psychotic obsession on Emily and when Emily is finally all like, “Leave me alone, psycho,” Dr. Thorne responds by kidnapping Emily and then murdering a lot of people with a shotgun, poison, and finally some hit-and-run driving.
Hold on a minute, let me catch my breath.
Did you get all that?
In the great tradition of low-budget Canadian filmmaking, this movie was ultimately so bad that it was good. It’s hard not to admire how the filmmakers take a genuinely intriguing premise and then portray it in a way that is so heavy-handed and ludicrous that you can’t help but watch.
Lauren Holly probably gives the best performance of her career as a caring therapist who, oddly enough, turns out to be a pretty efficient diabolical mastermind. What I love about films like this is how the villain can go from being sympathetic to creepy to brilliant to remarkable stupid depending on how much time is left in the movie.
I also love how, in these movies, nobody will ever believe that main character even if there’s like a thousand reasons that they should. Emily’s best friend actually leaves a message in Emily’s voice mail while she’s in the process of being killed by Dr. Thorne and yet not even that is enough to get Thorne arrested. It reminded me of that episode of South Park where Cartman pretends to be a psychic and gets everyone but the actual serial killer arrested.
That was a really funny episode, by the way.
What Didn’t Work?
Unfortunately, you really can’t have “so bad it’s good” without the bad. Then again, this was a Lifetime movie and it kept me entertained so, as far as I’m concerned, it all worked.
“Oh My God! Just like me!” Moments
Needless to say, I’ve seen a few therapists over the years and every single one of them was obsessed with me.
Or, at least, I always assumed they were.
In reality, it was always kind of disappointing for me to realize that they had other patients who spent just as much time with them as I did.
I may, in the future, spend a year living in Canada but I’ll never see a Canadian psychiatrist.