Lisa Cleans Out Her DVR: The Other Mother (dir by Sean Olson)


(Once again, I am attempting to clean out my DVR!  I recorded The Other Mother off of Lifetime on April 22nd, 2017.)

Divorce is never easy.  This is something that we all know.  A once loving couple splits up and suddenly, they are forced to figure out what type of relationship, if any, they will now have.  It’s even more difficult for the children, who often find themselves torn between two households, all the while wondering if they’re somehow responsible.  Believe me, speaking as a child of divorce, it’s never easy even if it’s often for the best.

That said, you know what I bet would make a divorce even more difficult?  When your ex-husband impulsively marries a woman who is young enough to be his daughter and then sits by while his new wife not only turns your daughter against you but also frames you so that everyone thinks you’re a totally irresponsible, abusive alcoholic.

That, of course, is exactly what happens in The Other Mother.  The title character is Tiffany (Kimberly Crossman), who is pretty, confident, fun, and a little bit psycho.  When she marries Mitch (Tyler Christopher), she immediately sets about to manipulate his teenager daughter, Brooke (Kennedy Tucker), into rejecting her biological mother, and Mitch’s ex-wife, Jackie (Annie Wersching).

It’s really not that hard because 1) Tiffany is close to Brooke’s own age and 2) Jackie is massively overprotective and strict.  Of course, Brooke has struggled to deal with the divorce.  Jackie worries that Brooke might act out or that she might even hurt herself.  Last year, Jackie caught Brooke drinking and she still hasn’t let it go.

Tiffany, at least at first, appears to take a much more laissez faire approach to life.  At dinner, she asks Brooke if she wants anything to drink.  At Brooke’s birthday party, Tiffany gives her a car and Jackie throws a fit.  When Tiffany picks up Brooke from school, they go to the mall and Tiffany shows Brooke how to pick up boys.  Brooke would much rather hang out with her stepmom and who can blame her?  Tiffany’s fun and lets her do almost anything.

Of course, Tiffany also has a long and sordid history, one that is only Google search away.  And Tiffany is willing to do anything to get Jackie out of the picture.  If that means getting Jackie drunk and then pretending that Jackie attacked her, so be it.  If that means telling lies and hacking phones in order to make it appear as if Jackie has rejected her daughter, well, that’s what you have to do.

The Other Mother is a good example of a Lifetime film designed to tap into a fear that’s probably a pretty common one among middle-aged divorcees, the fear of no longer being the fun parent but instead being viewed as the enemy.  This film provides comfort by suggesting that the new fun mom is actually not that much fun and that she’s probably crazy as well.  Beyond bitter divorcees, anyone who has ever been made to feel inadequate by an ex’s new girlfriend will be able to relate to this film.

If you’re into Lifetime films, you’ll probably enjoy The Other Mother.  If nothing else, Kimberly Crossman does a really good job playing the cheerfully psychotic Tiffany.  The movie may not hold many surprises but I definitely had fun watching it.

 

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