What Lisa Watched Last Night #153: Newlywed and Dead (dir by Penelope Buitenhuis)

Last night, I watched the Lifetime premiere movie, Newlywed and Dead!


Why Was I Watching It?

There were a lot of reasons why I was watching Newlywed And Dead.  The main reason was that it was on Lifetime and watching, live tweeting, and reviewing Lifetime movies is one of the many things that I do!

Beyond that, I thought Newlywed and Dead was an absolutely brilliant title.  That title pretty much sums everything that we love about Lifetime movies, doesn’t it?

And finally, the movie starred Shenae Grimes-Beech!  Back when she was just Shenae Grimes (and before she showed up on 90210), she played Darcy Edwards on Degrassi!  Darcy was always one of my favorite characters on Degrassi.  Whether she was plotting to break Paige’s leg during a Spirit Squad routine, getting stalked as a result of the pictures she posted on MySpace (or MyRoom as Degrassi called it), leading prayers at Friendship Club, falsely accusing Mr. Simpson of sexual harassment, or encouraging Spinner to go to class stoned, Darcy was the best!

What Was It About?

Kristen Ward (Shenae Grimes-Beech) would appear to have the perfect life.  She not only lives in a beautiful valley but she works for handsome developer, Jay Morgan (Christopher Russell).  In fact, she not only works for him but she’s also married to him!  Of course, some people are concerned about Kristen marrying a man that she barely knows but Kristen knows that their love is true.  Even when she discovers that, 10 years earlier, Jay was arrested for assault, she doesn’t let that worry her.  Who doesn’t have a criminal record?

But then Jay’s aunt, Barbara (Venus Terzo), takes Kristen to the house where Jay grew up.  And Kristen sees a painting of Jay’s mother and notices that his mother looks just like her!  Considering that Jay’s mother died under mysterious circumstances, Kristen starts to get worried.

Then Aunt Barbara dies under equally mysterious circumstances…

And Kristen starts to get really worried…

What Worked?

Shamelessly melodramatic and just a little bit campy, Newlywed and Dead was everything that we love about Lifetime films.  I’ve often felt that the best thing about Lifetime films is knowing that people across the country are all saying, “Girl, don’t trust him!” at the same time that you are.  Watching a Lifetime movie is meant to be a communal experience, whether you’re forcing your sister or your BFF to watch with you or if you’re watching with a bunch of people on twitter.  Newlywed and Dead is definitely a film that should be watched with a group of your favorite people.

Beyond that, I liked the film’s look.  The mansions were opulent and the scenery was beautiful to look at.  There was one room that had way too much blue in it but otherwise, Newlywed and Dead was a feast for the eyes.

What Did Not Work?

As I watched the film, I kept waiting for that one unexpected twist that would transform it from being a very good Lifetime film to a great Lifetime film.  All great Lifetime films have that one moment where something totally insane happens.  While Newlywed and Dead features a lot of entertaining insanity, it never had the one moment.

(For example, I kept expecting Jay to reveal that he had an evil twin brother named Ray.  But it never happened.)

“Oh my God!  Just like me!” Moments

I always relate to any character played by Shenae Grimes-Beech.

Lessons Learned

Never marry your boss.


In Rural America

With the 4th of July approaching, consider life in rural America with these 10 photographs!

Hawaii -- Erin Nicole

Hawaii — Erin Nicole

Hawaii -- Erin Nicole

Hawaii — Erin Nicole

Idaho -- Doug Fredericks

Idaho — Doug Fredericks

 Montana -- Todd Klassy

Montana — Todd Klassy

Oklahoma -- Erin Nicole

Oklahoma — Erin Nicole

Pennsylvania -- Matt McClean

Pennsylvania — Matt McClean

South Carolina -- Artist Unknown

South Carolina — Artist Unknown

Texas -- Erin Nicole

Texas — Erin Nicole

Texas -- Kate Bazin

Texas — Kate Bazin

Texas -- Michael Lloyd

Texas — Michael Lloyd

Music Video of the Day: It’s My Life by No Doubt (2003, dir. David LaChapelle)

Yesterday we looked at the Talk Talk version of the song It’s My Life. This time around No Doubt and director David LaChapelle stuck with the theme of the lyrics, but instead put it into a darker context. It screams 2002’s Best Picture winner Chicago all over it. It also has a fair amount of film noir elements in it except it’s the guys who are the ones who do her in rather than the other way around as it appears throughout the video. At least that’s the way it comes across at the end whether they some how arranged the appearance of their deaths or are looking at her execution from the afterlife. I can’t help but think some of the song and the video is the way it is because of Stefani’s relationship with the band and Gavin Rossdale at this time. That stuff certainly showed up in other videos and songs from the band going all the way back to Don’t Speak. But that’s for another day.