What Lisa Watched Last Night #194: Her Boyfriend’s Secret (dir by Lisa France)

Last night, I watched the latest Lifetime movie premiere, Her Boyfriend’s Secret!

Why Was I Watching It?

With a title like that, how couldn’t I watch it!?  Seriously, whenever one of my friends gets a new boyfriend, I immediately start digging up all of their secrets.  I’m like the sassy best friend in a Lifetime movie except for the fact that I don’t get murdered right before the fifth commercial break.

What Was It About?

Melissa (Kelly Sullivan) and Travis (Jordan James Smith) have both built successful careers as home renovators.  In fact, everyone assumes that they must be a couple!  But no, they’re just friends and business colleagues.

In fact, Melissa may have met the one.  His name is John Anderson (Mark Famiglietti) and he’s handsome and charming and he owns a really big house.  Of course, it does seem strange that John is constantly taking business trips.  He claims that he spends his time flying from London to Paris to Geneva but he’s always kind of vague about what he actually does in any of those cities.

And then there’s Carrie (Maiara Walsh), the woman who approaches Melissa one day and informs her that 1) John is actually named Phillip and 2) Phillip/John has a history of stalking his ex-girlfriends!

That’s a lot of secrets but, believe it or not, there’s even more yet to be discovered!

What Worked?

I really liked this one.  Not only was it well-acted but it featured some really nice houses!  As any longtime fan can tell you, a good Lifetime film also features a combination of big melodrama and big houses!  The film’s central mystery was intriguing and Mark Famiglietti brought a convincing mix of creepiness and charm to the role of John.

Though I won’t spoil the nature of her role, Anne Leighton also gave a very good performance.  She’s doesn’t have a lot of screen time but she makes the most of it.

This film also played with the standard Lifetime stalker formula by casting a guy as the nosy best friend.  That actually added a whole new dynamic to all of the expected scenes of Travis digging into John’s background.  Was Travis right to be concerned or was he motivated by something more than just friendship?  The film did a good job of keeping you guessing.

What Did Not Work?

It all worked.  This was an entertaining Lifetime melodrama.

“Oh my God!  Just like me!” Moments

Again, as with all Lifetime films, I related to all of the skeptical and nosy best friends.  If only people would listen to them for once!

Lessons Learned

Just because someone has a big house, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should trust him.

What Lisa Watched Last Night #175: Devious Nanny (dir by Devon Downs and Kenny Gage)

Last night, I turned over to the Lifetime Movie Network and I watched Devious Nanny!

Why Was I Watching It?

I’ve got a long history with Lifetime nanny films.  I’ve watched films about Bad Nannys, Betrayed Nannys, Nightmare Nannys, Evil Nannys, Killer Nannys, and Dangerous Nannys.  So, how could I resist something called Devious Nanny?

(Actually, it was apparently also called both The Nanny Betrayal and The Au Pair.  Devious Nanny, though is an improvement on both of those.)

What Was It About?

Elise (Michelle Borth) and Brian (Antonio Cupo) have it all.  Elise works at an art gallery.  Brian works in … well, I think it was advertising but I could be wrong.  All I know is that he worked in an office and he was worried about landing a big account and he wore a suit to work.  Isn’t that what they do in advertising?  Anyway, it’s a good job.  Brian and Elise have a nice house and an adorable son.  All they need to complete the picture is … an au pair!

Enter Amber (Olesya Rulin), who appears to be the perfect nanny.  She loves kids and she’s even okay with cleaning up around the house!  Of course, Amber did lie a little to get her job.  And she didn’t tell her new employers that she grew up in the foster system and that she has a history of mental instability.  Soon, Brian and Amber are exchanging lustful glances and people are turning up dead.

But here’s the thing.  I’ve seen enough killer nanny films that I immediately realized that it was probably significant that the film never actually showed Amber killing anyone.  So, is Amber the murderer or is it someone else?  The film is full of suspects!

What Worked?

It all worked.  This was the type of Lifetime movie that made me fall in love with the unique Lifetime aesthetic in the first place.  Well-acted and full of snarky lines, Devious Nanny also featured a rather clever last-minute plot twist.  The end of the film also features a line of dialogue that is perhaps the coldest sentiment over to be offered up in a Lifetime film.

Needless to say, this was a fun movie to live tweet.  Those of us on twitter last night had a blast trying to figure out who the killer was and who was going to be the next victim.

All in all, it was a very entertaining movie.

What Did Not Work?

It all worked!  At first, I was worried that the film would turn out to be just another Lifetime Nanny film but the script, by Adam Rockoff, was full of unexpected plot twists.  I’m going to guess that Rockoff has seen enough nanny films that he knew exactly what most people would be expecting and he very skillfully manipulated those expectations.

In fact, my only issue is that Lifetime aired this on Friday night and it didn’t really seem like they made much of an effort to publicize it.  Sometimes, I think Lifetime doesn’t truly understand just how many people love watching their movies.  They’ll promote the Hell out of some forgettable (and often regrettable) celebrity biopic but entertaining thrillers, like this one, rarely get the fanfare that they deserve.

“Oh my God!  Just like me!” Moments

I’ve been lucky, in that I’ve never had to work as an au pair.  I’ve also never been suspected of murder.  I guess I’ve just lived a sheltered life.  However, if any of that did happen to me, I would hope, when it was all over, that I could be as snarky about it as Amber.

Lessons Learned

Life’s not easy when you’re a nanny.