Cleaning Out The DVR, Again #17: Dying To Be Loved (dir by Paul Shapiro)

(Lisa is currently in the process of trying to clean out her DVR by watching and reviewing all 40 of the movies that she recorded from the start of March to the end of June.  She’s trying to get it all done by July 10th!  Will she make it!?  Keep visiting the site to find out!)


After I finished up with The Cheerleader Murders, I rewatched Dying To Be Loved, which premiered on the Lifetime network on April 16th.  Dying To Be Loved is also known as A Mother’s Suspicion.  I’m really not sure which title I prefer.  A Mother’s Suspicion is a little more accurate, as the film is about a mother who is very suspicious of her daughter’s new boyfriend.  However, Dying To Be Loved has a little bit more of a snap to it, with the juxtaposition of death and love.

If I seem to be spending a bit too much time on the film’s title, that’s because I have a certain word count that I’m trying to meet but there’s really not that much to say about Dying To Be Loved.  It’s a typical example of a genre familiar to all regular Lifetime viewers, the You Should Have Listened To Mom genre of film.

In this case, the mom is Jill Yates (Lindsay Hartley).  Jill has a good career, a good house, a good boyfriend (played by Lifetime regular Dan Payne), and good hair.  That’s really pretty much all you need to be a success in a Lifetime film.  However, she also has an 18 year-old daughter, Emily (Paloma Kwiatkowski).  Emily is away at college.  She’s alone from home for the first time.  She’s also bipolar and Jill fears that Emily is not taking her meds.  Jill is even more worried when she meets Emily’s new boyfriend, Gary (Jedidiah Goodacre).  Gary is rough and tough and has absolutely terrible table manners.  Jill tells Emily that she can do better than Gary so, of course, Emily runs off on a cross-country trip with him.

Soon, Gary is murdering gas station attendants and ranting like a madman.  Emily, who is not taking her medication (cue dramatic music), is convinced that she loves Gary.  In fact, she is so in love with Gary that she apparently agrees to jump off a bridge with him.

Or does she?  No bodies are recovered.  Even though everyone tells Jill that she needs to move on, Jill is convinced that her daughter is still out there.  With the help of a portly P.I. (Jay Bazeau) and an overly friendly small town cop (James Pizzinato), Jill sets out to find her daughter.  One of these two men is connected to Gary.  Which one?  You’ll have to watch the movie to find out!

Anyway, this is pretty much a standard Lifetime film.  Watching it, I couldn’t help but wish that it had been directed by someone like Fred Olen Ray.  At the very least, Fred would have played up the film’s melodrama and would have been a bit less earnest in his approach.  That said, Lindsay Hartley and Paloma Kwiatkowski are totally believable as mother and daughter.  Kwiatkowski, in particular, deserves a lot of credit for giving a believable and multi-faceted performance as the unstable and desperately unhappy Emily.  I winced a few times as I recognized bits of 16 year-old me in Emily’s actions.  This may be a generic Lifetime film but Hartley and Kwiatkowski really put their hearts into their performances and, for that, they deserve a lot of credit!

(For those keeping count, that’s 17 reviews down and 23 more to go!)

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