Last night, I finally got a chance to watch the latest Lifetime original film, Til Death Do Us Part.
I missed this one when it premiered on Lifetime last Saturday because I was busy watching Lake Placid vs. Anaconda on SyFy. Thank God for the DVR!
What Was It About?
It’s yet another Canadian-produced Lifetime movie about a new bride who suspects that her husband might be hiding a deadly secret. Sandra (Haylie Duff) has just married a doctor named Kevin (Ty Olsson). At first, Kevin seems like the perfect man but, after they move to a small town, he starts to reveal a controlling and angry side. Because Sandra has a heart condition, he demands that she constantly take pills. At the same time, his obsessively devoted sister, Jolene (Magda Apanowicz), has literally moved into the house.
When one of Sandra’s coworkers mysteriously dies, Sandra starts to wonder if maybe her husband was somehow involved.
The film’s first hour worked perfectly, largely because it emphasized Sandra’s confusion and her struggle to adjust to being a part of couple. Haylie Duff gave a pretty good performance during this part of the movie and was just unstable enough to allow the viewer to think that maybe — just maybe — everything really was just in her head. Unfortunately, the film sacrificed all hints of ambiguity during the far less satisfying second hour but, for those initial 60 minutes, it was a good and effective thriller.
Ty Olsson and Magda Apanowicz were both well cast as the mysterious husband and his creepy sister. Magda Apanowicz particularly deserves a lot of credit for totally committing herself to her role.
What Did Not Work?
This is one of those films that was great as long as you didn’t know what was going on. As long as the viewer was as confused as Sandra, the film worked. But then, as Kevin’s true nature became more and more obvious, the film itself became less and less interesting. I almost wish that no effort had been made to provide any motivation for either Kevin or his sister. If the two of them had remained enigmas, this film could have been an existential masterpiece as opposed to just being another take on Gaslight.
It was hard not to feel that Sandra could have avoided a lot of her troubles by simply doing a google search on Kevin before agreeing to marry him.
“Oh my God! Just like me!” Moments
If and when I do get married, I hope that my wedding will be as fun and as full of dancing as the wedding that opened this film. Seriously, I loved the first 15 minutes of this film because it was all about the wedding!
Before getting married, be sure to do a google search.