What Lisa Marie Watched Last Night #215: Nobody Will Believe You (dir by Damian Romay)

Last night, I turned over to the Lifetime Movie Network and I watched Nobody Will Believe You (a.k.a. Pretty Little Victim).

Why Was I Watching It?

This was actually my second time to watch Nobody Will Believe You.  I also watched it back in July but, for whatever reason, I didn’t review it despite the fact that I enjoyed the film.  I guess I must have been busy or sick in July, who knows?  Anyway, when I saw that it was going to be airing on the Lifetime Movie Network on Thursday night, I decided to rewatch it so that I could finally get around to writing this review!

What Was It About?

Melanie (Jenna Rosenow) and her daughter, Hannah (Emily Topper), have moved to a new town and, for Hannah, that means starting at a new school!  From the very first day, it’s obvious that Hannah is going to struggle to fit in.  Hannah may be nice but her classmates definitely are not.  The cheerleaders are bitchy.  The jocks are toxic.  Her best friend is alienated.  There’s a mysterious man who occasionally shows up and menacingly waves around a taser.  The only good news is that the friendly guidance counselor (John William Wright) wants to hire her to teach his daughter how to play the piano!  What could possibly go wrong?

What Worked?

I enjoyed Nobody Will Believe You because it did what every good Lifetime film does.  It shamelessly and openly embraced the melodrama.  Seriously, every possible thing that could happen to Hannah did happen to Hannah.  No sooner was Hannah getting rejected by the cheerleaders then she was saving the most popular girl in school from a falling printer.  No sooner had Hannah’s phone been hacked than someone was trying to frame her for murder.  It was such a nonstop collection of incidents that it quickly became clear to me that the film was self-aware when it came to its status as a Lifetime film.  It understood why the audience was watching and it was determined to give us exactly what we wanted.  At its best, the film worked as both a tribute to and a parody of the typical Lifetime movie.

What Did Not Work?

Obviously, for the film’s plot to work, Hannah had to be extremely naïve and trusting.  And, let’s be honest, it is true that some people are easily tricked.  Not everyone has the streetwise instincts of a suburbanite who has watched several hundred Lifetime films.  However, even with that in mind, it was sometimes hard to accept that Hannah could be as totally naïve as she often was.  Watching the movie, you sometimes got the feeling that, even if Hannah survived, she was destined to grow up to be one of those people who ends up sending their life savings to Aruba because someone contacted them on Facebook, claiming to be Garrett Hedlund.

“Oh my God!” Just Like Me Moments

When I was growing up, my family used to move a lot so I definitely could relate to Hannah’s nervousness about having to start all over again at an entirely new school.  And, when I was in high school, I got along famously with our guidance counselor.  If I hadn’t broken my ankle, maybe he would have asked me to teach his daughter to dance.  Of course, if Lifetime films have taught me anything, it’s that being hired to teach anyone anything is automatically going to lead to tragedy.

And of course, that brings us to….

Lessons Learned

Don’t teach.  Don’t offer to help anyone.  Reject any and all offers of mentorship.  It’s just going to lead to trouble.

Lifetime Film Review: Sorority Secrets (dir by Damian Romay)

I’ll just be honest here.  Trying to balance receiving reports of the U.S. Capitol being stormed by rioters with watching and reviewing the 2020 Lifetime film, Sorority Secrets, was not easy.  In fact, I’m not really sure that I succeeded.

Most Lifetime films work best if they’re watched in just one sitting.  You sit down on the couch.  You watch the film.  Assuming that you’re watching it on your DVR, whenever a commercial pops up, you hit the fast forward button and you skip over it.  (That’s especially true if you’re watching something you recorded early in 2020 because there’s seriously only so many Michael Bloomberg commercials you can sit through.  Fortunately, Sorority Secrets aired in late August, after Bloomberg had dropped out but before the presidential campaign commercials really fired up.)  By skipping those commercials, you also manage to maintain a sense of narrative momentum.  You get wrapped up in the story and you don’t get distracted by the semi-annual sale and, as a result, you don’t spend too much time thinking about plot holes or anything like that.  The important thing is not to let your momentum get disrupted.  Unfortunately, earlier today, it was a bit more difficult than usual to maintain that momentum.

Still, I enjoyed Sorority Secrets.  Perhaps I would have enjoyed it more if I hadn’t been worried that a revolution was about to break out but still, it was an enjoyably over-the-top melodrama.  Lifetime is well known for airing films about cheating husbands and stalker ex-boyfriends but it’s also aired its share of dangerous sorority films.  In a dangerous sorority film, a smart young college student from a poor family always ends up getting a chance to join the biggest sorority on campus.  The student is always hesitant until she finds out that she’ll get free room and board and she’ll also get a chance to get a summer internship out of it all.  Of course, the sorority always turns out to be full of secrets.  There’s usually a murder or two, along with scenes of the student’s overprotective mother worrying that her daughter has gotten in over her head.  These are fun movies.

In Sorority Secrets, the student is Cassie (Bryntee Ratledge) and she’s shocked when she’s invited to join the snootiest sorority in campus.  She’s not even into the whole sorority thing but, you know …. free room and board and a chance to connect with influential people.  Cassie decides to go for it but she eventually discovers that her sorority is basically just a front for an escort service.  If that’s not bad enough, it appears that someone has murdered Cassie’s sorority sister, Kerrie (Shayna Benardo).  Kerrie, who bore a resemblance to Cassie, was also wearing Cassie’s jacket when she fell in front of an train.  Could she have been pushed?  Well, we know that she was because we saw the hand that gave her a shove.

Anyway, the fun thing about Sorority Secrets is that members of the sorority all basically got their own personal clothing allowance and, as a result, everyone in the film was absurdly overdressed.  Both the clothes and the sorority house were to die for and really, that’s probably the most important thing when it comes to a deadly sorority film.  Though the plot undoubtedly had its holes, the film embraced the melodrama and went happily over the top and it provided a nice distraction for a few hours.  What more can you ask for?

Lifetime Film Review: Trapped Model (dir by Damian Romay)

If there’s anything that can definitely be said about Lifetime films, it’s that they always feature the nicest houses.

Take Trapped Model, for instance.  Now, this film is also known as The Model Murders and A Model Kidnapping so, right away, you know that it’s not going to be a happy story about how wonderful it is to be a model.  No, this is a film about a young woman named Grace (Lucy Loken) who runs away to Florida so that she can have her picture taken by a seemingly reputable photographer named Hunter (Wes McGee).  Hunter, of course, is charming at first but he soon turns out to be a total sleaze who, with the help of his assistant Nicole (Katherine Diaz), takes Grace prisoner and forces her to strip on camera for a worldwide audience of pervs and incels.  That’s a nightmarish story, one that’s made all the more disturbing by the fact that it’s very plausible.  I mean, I’ve met more than a few real-life Hunters and I saw pieces of all of them in Wes McGee’s unnerving and menacing performance.  And yet, as I watched the movie, I couldn’t stop thinking about how nice Hunter’s house was.

I mean, seriously!  This place was huge and it had a pool and, even more importantly, it was totally spotless.  Remember that mansion where Al Pacino kept his mountain of cocaine in Scarface?  That place had nothing on Hunter’s home.  In the film, Hunter used his mansion to give himself legitimacy.  Grace was lured into trusting Hunter by all of his visible signs of success.  Now, of course, those of us in the audience knew better.  We’ve seen enough Lifetime films to know better than to trust anyone who is as superficially charming as Hunter.  But still, even though we were all like, “Don’t trust him!  Don’t agree to stay overnight!  Stay out the guest house!,” it was impossible not to appreciate that house.

“Wow,” I exclaimed as I watched the film, “Maybe it’d be worth getting kidnapped just to live in that house!”

“That’s not funny, Lisa Marie!” came the replies and technically, I guess it wasn’t.  Still….

The other thought that I had as I watched Trapped Model was that it was unfortunate that Grace wasn’t Liam Neeson’s daughter.  I mean, we all know that no one gets away with kidnapping a member of the Neeson family.  Unfortunately, Grace has to depend on the investigative skills of her mother (Kiki Harris) and her boyfriend (Seth Goodfellow), neither one of whom has been trained to thwart kidnappings.  Instead, they have to go to the police, who turn out to be fairly ineffectual.  Usually, I kind of roll my eyes at the incompetent cops who populate Lifetime films but, in this case, the film made good use of the trope.  As soon as Grace is kidnapped, it’s obvious that she’s going to have to be the one to figure out a way to escape her captors.  You find yourself cheering her every success and dreading her every setback.

For the most part, Trapped Model was just as impressive as Hunter’s house.  This was a well-executed melodrama, featuring brisk direction from Damian Romay and excellent performances from Lucy Loken, Wes McGee, and Katherine Diaz.  In the end, Trapped Model is one of the better Lifetime films that I’ve seen this year and I’m not just saying that because of the house.

What Lisa Watched Last Night #191: Her Worst Nightmare (dir by Damian Romay)

Last night, I watched Sunday’s Lifetime premiere film, Her Worst Nightmare!

Why Was I Watching It?

I recorded Her Worst Nightmare off of Lifetime on Sunday night.  I watched it on Monday because I desperately needed to make some space on my DVR!  (Seriously, I’ve got like 5 hours of recording space left…)

Plus, I have to admit that I really liked the title.  Judging from the poster above, the film was originally called Degrees of Fear but I actually preferred Her Worst Nightmare.  Honestly, if the word nightmare appears in the title, there’s no way that I’m not going to watch.

What Was It About?

A year ago, Dakota (Claire Blackwelder) was kidnapped and held prisoner by a brutal sociopath.  Though she was eventually rescued and her kidnapper was sent to prison, Dakota is still struggling to deal with the trauma of what she’s been through.  Now a college student, Dakota is still paranoid and withdrawn.  With a student reporter trying to get her to talk about her experiences and a possibly lecherous professor (Trevor St. John) constantly trying to get her to come out and have a drink with him, Dakota doesn’t know who to trust.

It especially doesn’t help that it appears that, once again, someone is stalking Dakota.  Has her kidnapper escaped or is something else happening?  Dakota is determined to find out!

What Worked?

In the lead role, Claire Blackwelder gave a sympathetic performance and she did a good job of portraying Dakota’s paranoia.  It was impossible not to empathize with Dakota and Blackwelder’s performance really held the film together.

Meanwhile, Trevor St. John was hilariously self-satisfied in the role of Prof. Campbell.  We’ve all had a teacher like him, the handsome professor who goes out of his way to let you know that 1) he’s only a few years older than you and 2) he likes to hang out at the same places that you do and 3) he’d love to have office hours with you at any time during the semester.

Her Worst Nightmare was a relatively restrained film.  Usually, I complain whenever a Lifetime film is too low key.  I usually like my Lifetime melodramas to be totally and completely over-the-top. But, in the case of Her Worst Nightmare, the restrained approach actually worked.  It generated suspense and, like Dakota, I found myself looking at every corner of the screen, keeping an eye out for any possible threats.

What Didn’t Work?

I have to admit that I wasn’t particularly shocked when the identity of Dakota’s stalker was revealed.  That’s one of the drawbacks of having a small cast.  There’s only so many possible suspects and, once you discount all of the obvious ones, it’s pretty easy to guess who it’s going to be.

“Oh my God!  Just like me!” Moments

Whenever Dakota was feeling paranoid, I was like, “Been there.”  Unlike Dakota, I’ve never been kidnapped and held prisoner but I very well could have been if luck had not been on my side.  Anyone who has ever been stalked or who has ever escaped from an abusive relationship will be able to relate to Dakota.

Lessons Learned

Just because you’re paranoid, that doesn’t mean that people aren’t out to get you.  Actually, to be honest, I already knew that before I watched the film but sometimes, the best thing that a film can do is remind you of something that you already know to be true!

What Lisa Watched Last Night #190: Killer Night Shift (dir by Damian Romay and Ernest Rowe)

Last night, I watched the latest Lifetime movie premiere, Killer Night Shift!

Why Was I Watching It?

Because it was on Lifetime!

Seriously, as much as I loved watching all of the SyFy shark movies last week, I was ready to return to Lifetime and see what type of melodrama they had to offer this weekend.

I have to admit that I was also intrigued by the title.  Killer is a word that shows up in several Lifetime titles but this is the first time that I’ve ever heard of a killer night shift.  Some day, I’m going to write a Lifetime movie called Killer Yoga Lesson.

What Was It About?

It was about a couple, David (Johnny Pacar) and Tricia (Christie Burson) Rosen.  They’re rich in the way that most Lifetime couples are, in that they own a really big house, Tricia is an online yoga instructor, and David’s business is ill-defined but it keeps him away from home for extended periods of time.

Tricia is also 8 months pregnant!  With David away on business, Tricia needs a homecare nurse.  She has two to choose from.  There’s Irene (Vanessa Reseland), the sullen nurse that’s actually assigned to her.  Irene has a shady history of stealing medication and being rude to patients.  And then there’s Katy (Cynthia Evans), who is Tricia’s talkative neighbor and who spends all of her time at Tricia’s house.

(I don’t blame her!  It’s a really nice house!)

Anyway, since this is a Lifetime film, we know that at least one of the nurses is going to turn out to be crazy and homicidal.  But which one?

What Worked?

For the first hour or so, the film did a pretty good job of keeping you guessing as to which nurse would ultimately turn out to be the dangerous one.  Both Vanessa Reseland and Cynthia Evans were well cast as two very different nurses.  Once it was revealed which nurse actually was the bad nurse, I have to say that she turned out to be even more evil than the typical Lifetime villain.

Shalesha Monique Henderson played Irene’s supervisor, Adele.  Though it was a small role, Henderson made a definite impression.  We’ve all known someone like Adele, someone who doesn’t have any time for any foolishness and who is too busy to waste time being polite.  Adele’s withering look of disgust whenever Irene complained about her assignment was definitely one of the highlights of the film.

What Did Not Work?

The film itself moved a bit slowly and I have to admit that I got a bit depressed while watching it.  Despite all of the melodrama, the film wasn’t quite as over the top as a typical Lifetime film.  Lifetime movies deal with such traumatic issues that you kinda need those over the top, borderline absurd moments to remind you that it’s only a movie.  You really felt their absence in Killer Night Shift.

“Oh my God!  Just like me!” Moments

I was in kind of a bad mood yesterday so I related to Irene’s constant bad mood.  Sometimes, you just don’t want to say “excuse me” when you shove someone out of the way.

Lessons Learned

There’s a lot of money to be made in yoga.

2017 in Review: The Best of Lifetime

Today, I continue my look back at the previous year with my picks for the best of Lifetime in 2017!  Below, you’ll find my nominations for the best Lifetime films and performances of 2017!  Winners are starred and listed in bold!

(As a guide, I used the credits for the imdb.  If anyone has been miscredited or let out, please feel free to let me know and I’ll fix the error both here and, if I can, on the imdb as well.)

Best Picture

Drink Slay Love, produced by Tina Pehme, Kim Roberts, Sheri Singer, Bella Thorne

From Straight A’s to XXX, produced by Austin Andrews, John Bolton, Anne-Marie Hess, Tina Pehme, Kim Roberts, Sheri Singer

Four Christmases and a Wedding

New York Prison Break: The Seduction of Joyce Mitchell, produced by Deen Dioria, David Manzanares, Ron Schmidt, Judith Verno, Frank von Zerneck.

The Rachels, produced by Paige Lauren Billot, Margaret H. Huddleston, Maggie McFarren, Hannah Pillemer, Rebecca G. Stone.

Running Away, produced by Dureyshevar, Jeff Faehnle, Jack Nasser, Jacob Nasser, Joseph Nasser, Bri Noble.

Sea Change. Produced by Sharon Bordas, Alec Chorches, Adam Fratto, Steven Gilder, David MacLeod, A.J. Mendez, Shawn Piller, Lloyd Segan, Stephanie Slack, Fernando Szew

Secrets in Suburbia, produced by Kristopher McNeeley, Jacobo Rispa, Damian Romay, Stephanie Slack, Fernando Szew.

The Watcher in the Woods, produced by Simon Barnes, Alexandra Bentley, Andrew Gernhard, Jennifer Handorf, Paula Hart.

* Web Cam Girls, produced by Tom Berry, Pierre David, Hank Grover, Sheri Reeves, Ken Sanders, Noel Zanitsch* 

Best Director

* Doug Campbell for Web Cam Girls

Michael Civille for The Rachels

Vanessa Parise for From Straight A’s to XXX

Damian Romay for Secrets in Suburbia

Brian Skiba for Running Away

Stephen Tolkin for New York Prison Break: The Seduction of Joyce Mitchell

Best Actor

James Franco in High School Lover

Zack Gold in Psycho Brother-in-Law

Stephen Graybill in Web Cam Girls

Timothy Granderos in The Twin

Ted McGinley in Fatherly Obsession

* Ryan Patrick Shanahan in Sinister Minister

Best Actress

Barbie Castro in Boyfriend Killer

Holly Deveaux in Running Away

Sedonna Legge in Web Cam Girls

* Penelope Ann Miller in New York Prison Break: The Seduction of Joyce Mitchell

Heather Morris in Psycho Wedding Crasher

Haley Pullos in From Straight A’s to XXX

Best Supporting Actor

Francois Arnaud in High School Lover

Joe Hackett in Web Cam Girls

William McNamara in Running Away

Patrick Muldoon in Boyfriend Killer

Judd Nelson in From Straight A’s to XXX

* Daniel Roebuck in New York Prison Break: The Seduction of Joyce Mitchell

Best Supporting Actress

Madison Iseman in The Rachels

Anjelica Huston in The Watcher in the Woods

* Tonya Kay in Web Cam Girls

Paula Trickey in Running Away

Ashley Wood in Wicked Mom’s Club

Lorynn York in Web Cam Girs

Best Screenplay

From Straight A’s to XXX. Anne-Marie Hess.

New York Prison Break: The Seduction of Joyce Mitchell. Stephen Tolkin.

The Rachels. Ellen Huggins.

* Running Away. Sheri McGuinn.

Secrets in Suburbia. Damian Romay.

Web Cam Girls. Stephen Romano.

Best Cinematography

Drink Slay Love. Vic Sarin.

Four Christmases and a Wedding. Mike Kam.

Off the Rails. Denis Maloney.

Running Away. Patrice Lucien Cochet.

* Sea Change. Jackson Parrell.

Ten: Murder Island. Richard Clabaugh.

Best Costuming

* Drink Slay Love. Liene Dobraja.

From Straight A’s to XXX. Liene Dobraja.

The Lost Wife of Robert Durst. Tina Fiorda.

New York Prison Break: The Seduction of Joyce Mitchell. Maria Bentfield.

The Rachels. Courtney Stern.

Stage Fright. Monique Hyman.

Best Editing

* From Straight A’s to XXX. Rob Grant.

Four Christmases and a Wedding. Paul Ziller.

New York Prison Break: The Seduction of Joyce Mitchell. Mark Stevens.

The Rachels. Brett Solem.

Sea Change. Matthew Anas.

Web Cam Girls. Jordan Jensen.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Drink Slay Love. Jessica Green, Catherine Long, Alysha McLoughlin, Sahar Sharelo.

The Lost Wife of Robert Durst. Lorna Bravo, Kelly Grange, Shelly Jensen, Mary Renvall, Melissa Sahlstrom.

* New York Prison Break: The Seduction of Joyce Mitchell. Claudia Breckenridge, Daniel Casillas, Nicole Gabaldon, Pepper J. Gallegos, Madeline McCue, L. Taylor Roberts

The Rachels. Taylor Bennett, Austin Cuccia.

Secrets in Suburbia. Andrea Ahl, Trevor Thompson

The Watcher in the Woods. Chloe Edwards.

Best Score

Drink Slay Love. Justin R. Durban

Fatherly Obsession. Aiko Fukushima.

Sea Change. Shawn Pierce.

* Story of a Girl. Travis Bacon.

Ten: Murder Island. Ceiri Torjussen.

The Watcher in the Woods. Felix Bird.

Best Production Design

New York Prison Break: The Seduction of Joyce Mitchell. Will Albarz, Anthony Medina.

Running Away.   Vincent Albo, Rose Beltran

Secrets in Suburbia. Brendan Turrill.

Ten: Murder Island. Eric Whitney, Caley Bisson.

Tiny House of Terror

* Web Cam Girls. Catch Henson, James W. Thompson Jr., Katherine Bulovic, Valerie Munguia

Best Sound

Britney Ever After

Drink Slay Love

From Straight A’s to XXX

Sea Change.

Under the Bed

* The Watcher in the Woods

Best Visual Effects

* Drink Slay Love

Fatherly Obsession

Sea Change

Stalker’s Prey

Ten: Murder Island

The Watcher in the Woods

And there you have it!  Those are my picks for the best of Lifetime in 2017!  Thank you for your indulgence!  On Friday, I’ll be concluding my look back at 2017 with my picks for the 26 best films of the year!

Previous entries in the TSL’s Look Back at 2017:

  1. 2017 in Review: Top Ten Single Issues by Ryan C
  2. 2017 in Review: Top Ten Series by Ryan C
  3. 2017 In Review: Top Ten Collected Edition (Contemporary) by Ryan C
  4. 2017 In Review: Top Ten Collected Editions (Vintage) by Ryan C
  5. 2017 in Review: Top Ten Graphic Novels By Ryan C
  6. 25 Best, Worst, and Gems I saw in 2017 by Valerie Troutman
  7. My Top 15 Albums of 2017 by Necromoonyeti
  8. 2017 In Review: Lisa Marie’s Picks For the 16 Worst Films of 2017
  9. 2017 In Review: Lisa Marie’s Final Post About Twin Peaks: The Return (for now)
  10. 2017 in Review: Lisa Marie’s 14 Favorite Songs of 2017
  11. 2017 in Review: The Best of SyFy by Lisa Marie Bowman
  12. 2017 in Review: 10 Good Things that Lisa Marie Saw On Television in 2017
  13. 2017 in Review: Lisa Marie’s 12 Favorite Novels of 2017
  14. 2017 in Review: Lia Marie’s 10 Favorite Non-Fiction Books of 2017

Cleaning Out The DVR: Secrets In Suburbia (dir by Damian Romay)

(Hi there!  So, as you may know because I’ve been talking about it on this site all year, I have got way too much stuff on my DVR.  Seriously, I currently have 205 things recorded!  I’ve decided that, on January 15th, I am going to erase everything on the DVR, regardless of whether I’ve watched it or not.  So, that means that I’ve now have only two months to clean out the DVR!  Will I make it?  Keep checking this site to find out!  I recorded Secrets in Suburbia off of Lifetime on April 15th!)

Welcome to the Hell that is Lifetime suburbia!

Seriously, whenever you come across a Lifetime movie that has the word “suburbia” in the title, you know exactly what you’re getting: nice houses, nice clothes, beautiful people, adulterous affairs, and usually a little bit of murder.  Secrets in Suburbia features all of that and it’s an enjoyably over the top little movie.

We open with a nice house in a nice neighborhood on a nice night.  A party’s being thrown.  It’s a divorce party!  (Divorce parties, by the way, are super fun!  I’ve been encouraging all of my married friends to get divorced, just so we can all get together for the party afterward.)  The recently divorced wife gives a long and sarcastic speech.  Suddenly, her ex-husband shows up.  He’s waving a gun and rambling incoherently.  Then he shoots himself, which totally ruins the party.

(Choice dialogue: “I don’t need a dead body in my house!”)

We return to the party four more times over the course of the film, each time from the perspective of a different character and each time, we learn a little bit more about what happened on that night.  It’s a nicely done technique, one that forces us to pay close attention to the action unfolding on screen.  It certainly adds a layer of narrative complexity that one might not usually expect to find in a Lifetime film.

The majority of the film deals with Gloria (Brianna Brown) and her husband, Phil (Joe Williamson).  Gloria has a nice house, nice children, and a nice dog.  Phil has a lot of charm and a massive chip on his shoulder about the fact that, unlike most of his friends and neighbors, he wasn’t born rich.  Phil, it quickly turns out, has more than a little trouble being a faithful husband.  No need to be shocked by that.  It’s Lifetime and it’s suburbia.

One day, Gloria comes home to discover that her dog has been poisoned.  While she rushes the dog to the vet, she gets into a serious car accident.  It’s hard not to notice that, underneath all of his charm, Phil doesn’t seem to be that concerned about his wife.  Maybe it’s the fact that he keeps ignoring the doctor’s advice.  Maybe it’s the fact that he doesn’t seem to care about the dead dog.  Or maybe it has something to do with the antifreeze that he keeps putting in her drinks…

This is a movie that’s all about revenge, especially after Gloria learns that Phil has been cheating with her friends.  To be honest, the plot doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.  Things get pretty crazy towards the end of the film.  That’s not a complaint, of course.  In general, the more melodramatic and crazy a movie like this gets, the better.  Secrets in Suburbia goes totally batshit crazy, which is exactly what it needed to do.  It’s all terrifically entertaining and in the end, that’s all that really matters.

What Lisa Watched Last Night #144: A Student’s Obsession (directed by Damian Romay)

On Sunday night, I watched a Lifetime movie called A Student’s Obsession.

Life Student

Why Was I Watching It?

Well, the obvious answer that it was on Lifetime.  But even beyond that, there’s the fact that the title contained the word “obsession.”  Anytime a Lifetime film is about an obsession, it usually turns out to be pretty good.

What Was It About?

Stephanie (Louise Lombard) is a science teacher in Florida.  During a field trip to the Florida Everglades, Stephanie is kissed by her new student, James (Alex Esola).  Stephanie demands that James be transferred to another science class but it turns out that James doesn’t take rejection well.  Soon, Stephanie is being stalked but is she being stalked by James or by her creepy colleague, Richard (Richard Haylor)?  And, even more importantly, should she be concerned that her daughter, Nicole (Ella Wahlestedt), has a new boyfriend who is named Seth but looks just like James?

What Worked?

The film was enjoyably over-the-top and melodramatic.  That, after all, is what we expect from a Lifetime movie about obsession and A Student’s Obsession delivered.

What Did Not Work?

How stupid can one person be before you lose all sympathy for her?  That’s the question that you have to consider while watching this film because Stephanie does a lot of very stupid things.  Obviously, whenever it comes to a movie like this, you have to be willing to suspend your disbelief but this movie demanded that you do more than just suspend it.  In order to take this movie seriously, you had to ignore the whole concept of disbelief.  Stephanie did so many stupid things that it was next to impossible to have much sympathy for her.

Myself, I lost all sympathy for Stephanie the minute that she decided to sit in a car and have a conversation with James.  This occurred right after Stephanie had been fired because of all the rumors about her and James.  And yet, even though Stephanie knew that everyone was saying stuff that could possibly cause her to never work as a teacher again, she still decided to get in a car with James and have a conversation with him.  And, of course, the car was parked in the school parking lot so any teacher or student could have easily walked by and seen the two of them.

At that point, I said, “Okay, Stephanie — you’re too dumb for me to care about.”

“Oh my God!  Just like me!” Moments

Oh, there was so much I related to in this film and I’m not just talking about the whole experience of having to deal with creepy stalkers.  For instance, much like Stephanie, I am a runner.  I run whenever I’m stressed out and, when I’m running, I’m usually off in my own little world.  That whole scene where Stephanie nearly got run over because she wasn’t paying attention when she ran out in the middle of the road?  Done that.

(Of course, the big difference is that I yelled at the car and gave the driver the finger and everything else.  Stephanie just kind of ignores the car.)

I also related to Stephanie’s daughter, Nicole.  This was largely because Nicole was a rebellious redhead and so am I!

Lessons Learned

I should have gone to high school in Florida.  Seriously, the school was huge and the science class got to go on a totally kickass field trip to the Everglades.