Film Review: Pregnant At 17 (dir by Curtis Crawford)


Before I talk too much about the last night’s Lifetime premiere, Pregnant at 17, I want to share something with you.  As of 10:00 pm on the night at February 20th, this is the imdb plot description, which was posted by Reel One Entertainment:

When Sonia finds out her husband of 10 years is having an affair, she decides to get to know the young woman, Chelsea, he’s fallen in love with. Chelsea, a free-spirit who believes in polyamory, brings a happiness and fulfillment to Sonia that she’s never experienced before– especially since her miscarriage which left her depressed and hopeless. The three form a polyamorous relationship until an unexpected turn of events sends all of their lives into a tailspin.

Wow, that sounds like a lot of fun, doesn’t it!?  Certainly, this is the first time that I’ve seen the term “polyamory” used in a plot description since Utopia went off the air!

However, by the time you read this review, I imagine that the plot description will probably have been changed because it’s absolutely inaccurate.  It is true that Sonia (Josie Bissett) does find out that her husband, Jeff (Roark Critchlow), is having an affair with Chelsea (Zoe De Grand Maison).  However, Chelsea is not a polyamorous free spirit.  Instead, she’s a 17 year-old girl who works at an ice cream parlor.  (The name of the parlor is Stella Lama.)  And, though Jeff does have an affair with her, he never falls in love with Chelsea.  In fact, when Chelsea tells him that she’s pregnant (at 17!), he promptly attempts to pay her off.

That’s right — Pregnant at 17 is yet another installment in Lifetime’s endless series of “…at 17” films.  Over the past few years, we’ve seen everything from Betrayed At 17 to Stalked At 17 to Framed At 17 to Accused at 17.  Seriously, it’s not easy being a 17 year-old girl on Lifetime!  The worst things are always happening to you.  Since I had a lot of melodrama in my life when I was 17, I always enjoy and relate to the “…at 17” movies.  Pregnant at 17 was a film that I could especially relate to because it was about a girl who had both red hair and a boyfriend named Jeff!

Even without the promised softcore polyamory, Pregnant at 17 was still wonderfully melodramatic in the way that only a good Lifetime film can be.  After Sonia discovers that Chelsea has been sleeping with her husband, she goes down to the ice parlor to confront her.  However, within seconds of their first meeting, Chelsea is offering Sonia free ice cream and talking about how difficult her life is.  Sonia feels sorry for Chelsea and, instead of confronting her, ends up befriending her.

And Chelsea really needs a friend!  Not only has she been abandoned by her married boyfriend but she’s also being stalked by Greg Foster (Rogan Christopher).  Apparently, before she met Jeff, Chelsea witnessed Greg robbing a convenience store.  Chelsea identified Greg to the police and Greg has spent the last year in jail.  Now, he’s out and he wants revenge!  Helping Greg is his sister, Laren (Corina Bizem).  We know that Laren is dangerous because she wears way too much dark eyeliner.

When Sonia confronts Jeff about his affair, he replies, “You’re not perfect, either.”  Guys, if you’re reading this — if you are ever caught cheating, do not attempt to excuse your actions by saying, “You’re not perfect, either.”  SERIOUSLY, THAT IS THE WORST POSSIBLE THING YOU CAN SAY IN THOSE CIRCUMSTANCES.

(Forgive me for the all caps but I think this is an important message to impart.  If I can teach a lesson, I am always happy to do so.)

Now, at this point, I was thinking about a friend of mine who found out that her boyfriend was cheating on her and she responded by supergluing his penis to his stomach.  (Yes, that is a true story and yes, the person who suggested it to her was inspired by Reservoir Dogs.)  However, Sonia doesn’t go that far.  Instead, she just makes Jeff sleep in the guest room.  The next morning, Jeff gets hit by a car and ends up laid up at the hospital.

That now means that there’s extra room in Sonia’s house!  And who better to move in but her husband’s pregnant mistress!?  Of course, by doing so, Sonia is now being stalked by the same people who have been stalking Chelsea…

Seriously, being pregnant at 17 is the least of Chelsea’s problems.  This is pure Choas at 17.

And no, there’s no polyamory.  There’s no threesomes.  I know that the plot description promised a threesome but that’s not the type of movie that Pregnant at 17 is.  This is not Carnal Wishes or Big Bad Mama. And really, that’s okay.  Pregnant at 17 is a lot of fun, just the way it is.  This film epitomizes everything that we love about Lifetime movies.  It’s so over the top that watching it is a pure delight.

Both Josie Bissett and Zoe De Grande Maison also deserve a lot of credit for fully committing to their roles.  Bissett, who was so good in A Mother’s Instinct, gives another excellent performance here.  Meanwhile, Maison does all of us redheads proud!

Keep an eye out for Pregnant at 17!  You will not be disappointed.


Curiouser & Curiouser: ALICE IN WONDERLAND (Paramount 1933)

cracked rear viewer


Lewis Carroll’s 1865 children’s classic ALICE IN WONDERLAND was turned into an all-star spectacular by Paramount in 1933. But the stars were mostly unrecognizable under heavy makeup and costumes, turning audiences off and causing the film to bomb at the box office. Seen today, the 1933 ALICE is a trippy visual delight for early movie buffs, thanks in large part to the art direction of William Cameron Menzies.


Menzies’ designs are truly out there, giving ALICE the surrealistic quality of the books themselves. He actually storyboarded his ideas right into the physical script, earning a co-writer credit along with Joseph L. Mankiewicz . Menzies was the cinematic wizard whose art direction brought the magical 1924 THE THIEF OF BAGDAD to life. He was co-director and special effects designer for 1932’s CHANDU THE MAGICIAN, and the title of Production Designer was invented for him on the classic GONE WITH THE WIND. Menzies also directed a few films; especially of…

View original post 494 more words

A Few Thoughts On The X-Files 10.5 “Babylon”


“How do you say ‘howdy pardner’ in Arabic?”

Hey, X-Files, how do you say “Fuck you” in English?

I was flying between Dallas and San Antonio last Monday when the 5th episode of The X-Files revival aired.  I did DVR it but, as soon as I found out that this episode was set in Texas, I found myself reluctant to actually watch it.


Well, why not?

TV shows and movies never get my home state right.  After all, Texas is the state that the rest of the world loves to hate.  We are a convenient scapegoat for the rest of America.  Every sin of this country is blamed on my state and it gets a little tedious after a while.  And yes, I know that some people (mostly folks up in Vermont) would claim that it’s our own fault for being so confident and outspoken but you know what?  We only do that because we know it bothers you.

But anyway, the Babylon episode of The X-Files was set in Texas and, having just watched it, I have to say that it really is no surprise that it gets the entire state wrong.  After all, The X-Files movie portrayed Dallas as sitting out in the middle of the desert, surrounded by mountains and caves.  (There are no mountains or caves in North Texas.)  Babylon, meanwhile, portrayed every single person in Texas as wearing a cowboy hat and denim and talking like a bunch of actors who just finished the first day of James Lipton’s “How To Talk Southwestern” class at the Actor’s Studio.  I lost track of how many denim skirts I saw in the background of a scene that was meant to be set at DFW.  It was embarrassing.  Seriously, X-Files, do a little fucking research in the future, okay?  I mean, I know it’s hot but it wouldn’t kill you to spend two hours down here and see what we actually dress and sound like.

And if I seem like I’m making a huge deal about this, you should understand that Babylon made a huge deal about being set in Texas.  If I had taken a drink every single time somebody made a point of saying that they were in Texas or that they were going to Texas, I would have gotten drunk off my ass within a matter of minutes.  Of course, I would already have been drunk from taking a drink every time that someone wandered by wearing a cowboy hat or a denim skirt.

As for the rest of the episode — well, it was technically okay.  It actually had an interesting idea at the center of it, with Mulder attempting to communicate with a brain-dead terrorist.  Robbie Amell and Lauren Ambrose showed up as Agents Miller and Einstein, who were basically younger versions of Mulder and Scully.  (Lauren Ambrose, in particular, was well-cast.)  If, for some reason, David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson refused to ever appear in another episode of The X-Files, I wouldn’t have any problem with the series following the adventures of Miller and Einstein.

But, I have to be honest here.  I could not look past how thoroughly this episode failed in portraying my home state.  And really, there was no reason to set this episode in Texas.  Draw Mohammed exhibitions take place all over the country and Babylon could have just as easily been set in New York or California.  (Except, of course, that would have meant acknowledging that there is prejudice in all the states of the union, even the ones that serve as home base for the entertainment industry.)

Anyway, this upcoming Monday will give us the finale of The X-Files revival.  My Struggle II will feature the return of Joel McHale and, if I had to guess, I would say that it will somehow involve Mulder and Scully’s long-missing son, William (a.k.a. Sculder).  If you want a season 11 of The X-Files, be sure to watch.

I just hope they won’t return to Texas.