Last night, as thunder rumbled outside and the skies were lit up by lighting, I curled up on the couch and I watched the latest Lifetime original film, Manny Dearest!
Why Was I Watching It?
A Canadian film called Manny Dearest? As soon as I saw the title, I assumed that it had to be a sequel to Degrassi: The Next Generation, one that would follow Manny Santos as she searched for love and success in Hollywood.
(Before you say that was a silly assumption on my part, just consider the number of Degrassi actors who regularly appear on the Lifetime network.)
Anyway, it turned out that I was wrong but I was already live-tweeting the movie so I kept watching.
What Was It About?
Karen (Ashely Scott) needs someone to help watch her two sons. Alex (Mitch Ryan) is a male nanny, otherwise known as a manny. Now, if this was a Hallmark film, Karen and Alex would fall in love and Alex would end up dumping her fiancée, a recovering alcoholic named Greg (Woody Jeffreys). But, since this is a Lifetime film, Alex turns out to be just a little crazy. Not only does he become obsessed with Karen and plot to get Greg out of the picture but he also teaches Karen’s sons some questionable lessons about how to deal with bullies.
This was actually one of the better Lifetime films that I’ve seen this year. Yes, it was obvious that Alex was going to turn out to be crazy but that’s Lifetime. When you sit down to watch a Lifetime movie, you know that the nanny is always going to turn out to be crazy. It would have been a betrayal of the audience to not have Alex turn out to be just a little insane.
Mitch Ryan did an excellent job playing Alex. Even though he was crazy and a murderer and he regularly drugged other people, Alex was still strangely likable. Last night, the majority of twitter was Team Alex. We especially enjoyed it when he scared the Hell out of a bully who was giving Karen’s son a hard time. Take that, bully! Add to that, Alex cooked, he did the dishes, he cleaned the house, and, whenever he showed up at the house at 3 in the morning, he was very careful about not waking anyone up.
My favorite character was Cori (Jordan Largy), a single mother who took one look at Alex and decided that she liked what she saw. The thing I liked about Cori is that she always said exactly what was on her mind and she didn’t let anything hold her back. Cori was the type of person who, when she brought her daughters over to play with Karen’s sons, greeted Alex by saying, “We thought we’d come by for a quickie.”
At this point, it’s a bit of a cliché for me to praise a Lifetime film for taking place in a nice house but, seriously, Karen had a really nice house.
What Did Not Work?
I guess some people would say that it was a problem that the villain was a hundred times more likable than the people he was menacing but not me. This is was a fun and entertaining Lifetime movie. As far as I’m concerned, it all worked.
“Oh my God! Just like me!” Moments
At one point, when Alex tells Cori that he’s not interested, Cori responds with, “Your loss.” I once said the same thing while breaking up with someone and I felt good about myself for a whole month afterward.
I like to think that, between watching Degrassi and Lifetime films like this one, I’ve learned a good deal about Canada. For me, the most Canadian moment of Manny Dearest came when the police approached Alex and, despite having guns, did not open fire on him. Restraint, it’s very Canadian.
Love you, Canada!