What’s the perfect recipe for dangers in a Lifetime movie?
Well, you need a pinch of melodrama, a dash of empowerment, a tablespoon of a wimpy spouse, and a quart of psycho energy. Sorry, I’m not really much of a cook and you can probably already tell. Perhaps that’s why I’ve always been obsessed with cooking shows and movies about professional chefs. I watch and I think to myself, “How come they can do that when I can’t even make toast without nearly burning down the kitchen?” And, of course, I always take a bit of pleasure when Gordon Ramsay catches a professional chef trying to serve up raw lamb. “See!?” I shout at the TV, “It can happen to anyone!”
But to get back to my recipe. Here’s what you need to cook up some danger, Lifetime-style.
You need a protagonist who has a glamorous job and an attractive family. In the case of Recipe for Danger, Vanessa (Bree Williamson) is the head chef at a very successful restaurant. Vanessa has a super supportive husband (Adam Hurtig) and a super loyal best friend (Kate Yacula). Vanessa also has an adopted daughter named Lacy (Annelise Pollman).
You need to have a bit of a moral panic. In this case, Vanessa is warned that she’s oversharing on social media. She’s constantly posting pictures of her life and writing about Lacy’s accomplishments. She’s warned that, if she’s not careful, she’s going to end up with a stalker. Vanessa laughs off the danger. She’s proud of her daughter. She has a great life. Why shouldn’t she share?
And, of course, you need a psycho! In this case, that psycho would be Taryn (Sarah Lind). Taryn’s is Lacy’s birth mother and she wants her daughter back. Due to Vanessa’s habit of oversharing, Taryn has been able to track them down. (Who’s laughing now, Vanessa!?) Taryn manages to get a job working in Vanessa’s restaurant and soon, she and Vanessa are besties! Everyone tries to warn Vanessa that something is off about Taryn but Vanessa refuses to listen. Of course, eventually, Taryn kidnaps Lacy. Can Vanessa rescue Lacy and how many people will end up in the hospital before Taryn’s rampage ends?
This was a pretty standard Lifetime kidnapping film, though I did like the fact that, rather than passively going along with being kidnapping, Lacy was always looking for an opportunity to escape and she got a chance to prove herself to be considerably more clever than even her own birth mother gave her credit for being. Sarah Lind’s been in quite a few Lifetime films and she does a pretty good job as Taryn, providing a nice balance between charm and psychosis.
In the end, Recipe for Danger is a filling if rather traditional meal.