Cleaning Out The DVR, Again #21: I Am Watching You (dir by Maureen Bharoocha)


(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 11th!  Will she make it!?  Keep visiting the site to find out!)

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I was originally planning on reviewing the 21st film on my DVR yesterday evening but that was before my hometown of Dallas, Texas turned into a war zone after a sniper opened fire on a Black Lives Matter protest that was being held downtown.  From 9 pm to 5 in the morning, I was watching the news and following the story on twitter.  10 police officers and 1 protester were shot by a gunman who later blown up in the parking garage of El Centro College.    Sadly, as of this writing, five of the wounded officers have lost their lives.  It was tragic and terrifying to watch this situation unfold, especially with the knowledge that it was all happening just a few miles away from me.  Needless to say, at that moment, reviewing a Lifetime film was the last thing on my mind.  I was just happy knowing that my family, friends, and loved ones were all safe.

As I sit here writing this, the city is still in shock and large portions of Dallas are currently shut down.  (Fortunately, I was already off work for this week.)  And, oddly enough, I’m suddenly finding myself very happy that I still have 19 films left to review.  When the world gets too crazy and scary, movies can provide a needed escape and right now, I need that escape.

So, with all that in mind, let’s take a look at I Am Watching You!

There’s a scene in Joe Swanberg’s 2014 holiday film, Happy Christmas, in which Anna Kendrick encourages novelist Melanie Lynesky to abandon her pretentious and stalled literary project and instead just try to make a quick buck by writing a “mom sex” book.  “Mom sex” books (like 50 Shades of Grey, to cite the most obvious example) might not qualify as great literature but they’re full of sex and middle-aged women like to read them on the beach.  I Am Watching You tells the story of Nora Nichols (Madline Zima), a writer who specializes in writing “mom sex” books.

Nora, however, is suffering from writer’s block!  Could it be because, like all Lifetime heroines, she has recently broken up with her boyfriend and is no longer having sex?  Of course, it is!  Fortunately, Nora’s office window provides her with a perfect view of her neighbor, photographer Lucas Wheeler (Brian Ames).  Nora spends her time watching Lucas dress and undress but what Nora doesn’t suspect is that Lucas might be watching her as well.

Anyway, eventually, Nora and Lucas actually run into each other in real life and soon, they’re exploring their own 50 Shades of Grey-style melodrama.  It helps with Nora’s writing, too.  For instance, when she has to write a bondage scene, she has Lucas tie her up.

And, at first, it looks like everything is perfect!  He’s hot, he’s into bondage, he likes to watch — what could go wrong?  Well, he’s also obsessed with her and Nora soon discovers that she’s being stalked by him.  Will all of this help Nora to write a best seller?  How couldn’t it!?

Anyway, I Am Watching You is pretty much your typical Lifetime sex film.  All of the scenes are gauzy and Lucas looks good without a shirt on but otherwise, it’s pretty tame.  Even the very brief bondage scene felt more like a Chanel commercial than anything else.

But I guess my main problem with I Am Watching You is that, from what we heard in the film, Nora didn’t appear to be a very good writer.  If anything, her writing sounded like second-rate 50 Shades of Grey fanfic (which is pretty bad when you consider that 50 Shades itself is second-rate fanfic).  Considering all that she goes through to get her book written, it would be nice if the book at least sounded like it was worth reading.

I Am Watching You originally aired on Lifetime on May 15th and I’m sure it’ll probably air again many times over the upcoming year.  They usually do.

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