On Sunday night, I watched the premiere of Deadly Ex on the Lifetime Movie Network.
In Deadly Ex, Jason Gerhardt plays Gary. He’s a guy who appears to have a successful life, despite a few regrets. For instance, he gave up his teenage dream of being a lawyer but he’s still managed to do okay for himself. He’s married to Jess (Marguerite Moreau) and his two wonderful, teenage children (Sammi Hanratty and Matt Cornet) but domestic bliss has somehow eluded him. In fact, he’s on the verge of divorce.
How bad is Gary’s marriage? It’s so bad that he leaves his wife and children behind when he goes to his high school reunion! However, that also means that he gets to spend some time catching up with his ex-girlfriend, Valerie (Natasha Henstridge). In turns out that, in high school, Gary wasn’t the best boy friend. He rather callously dumped Valerie. But that was a long time ago and Gary’s changed. He says that he’s sorry and he means it. Valerie tells him that she forgives him and…
Well, this is a Lifetime film. And it’s called Deadly Ex. So you can probably guess that Valerie hasn’t quite forgiven or gotten over Gary. Instead, Valerie follows Gary back to his hometown. She enrolls as a student in Jess’s yoga class. She starts to send gifts to Gary’s house. And, eventually, she shows up with a knife…
Plotwise, Deadly Ex is typical Lifetime fare but it’s distinguished by two things. First off, Natasha Henstridge gives a terrific performance as the insanely driven Valerie. Films like this are only as good as their villains and Henstridge bravely throws herself into her performance. Marguerite Moreau also does a good job, playing a mother who will take any risk to defend her family. Secondly, the final confrontation between Valerie and Jess is extremely well-done and director Tom Shell actually keeps you guessing as to how it’s going to end and who is going to survive.
Finally, Deadly Ex manages to tap into a fantasy that I think everyone has. Who hasn’t wanted to run into their ex and brag about how wonderful their life has been since the break-up? For that matter, who hasn’t wanted to get a chance to put an ex in his place? Me, I’d rather do it with a perfectly timed quip than a knife but I guess that’s just me.
(Also, I should mention that, while watching the film, I was able to totally relate to Gary and Jess’s daughter, Carissa, largely because she had perfected the dismissive “whatever” glance that I’ve been employing since I was 13 years old.)
If you’re into Lifetime movies (and who isn’t, really?), Deadly Ex is one to keep an eye out for.