If there’s anything that I’ve learned from my long history of watching Lifetime films, it’s that having a real job just isn’t worth the trouble.
Just consider what Melanie (Jessica Morris) goes through in The Wrong Mommy. She’s got a real job. She also has a handsome husband (Jason-Shane Scott), an adorable daughter (Jillian Spitz), and a mother (Dee Wallace) who enjoys going on exotic cruises. Melanie also has a really nice and really big house, the type of house that would probably be the “slightly more than you’re willing to pay” house on an episode of House Hunters. But can she enjoy it? No, of course not! It’s all because she’s got a real job. She can’t pick up her daughter after school. She can’t go out at night. She can’t do anything because she’s got a real job.
However, during the first few minutes of The Wrong Mommy, Melanie gets some good news! She’s been promoted! She’s now a senior executive or whatever it is that you get promoted to when you’ve got a real job. Along with having real responsibilities, Melanie is also about to get a real assistant!
Here’s another thing that I’ve learned from my long history of watching Lifetime films, as well as from my own past experience in the administrative professional field. Be very careful about hiring an assistant. Especially if she only has one obscure reference on her resume. Even if she’s willing to babysit your daughter for you, be careful. Don’t look the other way when she flirts with your husband. And, for the love of everything holy in this world, don’t tell her the one secret that could lead to you losing a big account!
Unfortunately, Melanie doesn’t exercise caution about any of that and, as a result, she ends up hiring Phoebe (Ashlynn Yennie). Even before Phoebe shows up for her interview, we’ve already seen her following Melanie around town and spying on her. In fact, even before the opening credits conclude, Phoebe is breaking into Melanie’s house and planting spy cameras. We know better than to trust Phoebe and soon, Melanie discovers that she made a mistake hiring her. However, it may be too late to do anything about it….
Now, to the film’s credit, Phoebe isn’t just some random psycho bitch trying to ruin someone else’s life. It turns out that she has a backstory, one that actually does involve Melanie. I won’t spoil anything by revealing it but it’s a pretty good backstory. Ashley Yennie appears to be having a lot of fun in the role of Phoebe. If you’re going to be in a Lifetime movie, you definitely want to play the villain. They usually get all the good lines and get to wear all the pretty clothes.
Like most of Lifetime’s “Wrong” films, this one was directed by David DeCoteau, who know exactly the right tone to take for a film like this. He plays up the melodrama while never allowing the film to take itself too seriously. (Just check out the scene where Dee Wallace shouts out the film’s title.) As with all the “Wrong” films, Vivica A. Fox shows up as a no-nonsense authority figure. (This time, she plays Melanie’s boss.) The great Eric Roberts also shows up for a few minutes, playing a sleazy client. Roberts doesn’t have much screen time but, as usual, he makes memorable use of what he gets.
The Wrong Mommy is an enjoyably silly film. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and neither should you.