Last night, my sister Megan and I watched Mommy’s Little Star on the Lifetime Movie Network!
Why Were We Watching It?
For the past week and a half, I’ve been visiting my sister Megan and her family. This is kind of our holiday tradition. Everyone gets together for Christmas and then, from Christmas Day to New Year, Megan and I catch up and bond and talk about how we’re feeling about the past year and what we’re hoping to get out of the upcoming year. Plus, we watch a lot of TV and movies!
I’ve always loved watching movies with my family and I especially love Lifetime movies. (Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten to watch as much Lifetime as usual this year.) So, when I saw that the Lifetime Movie Network was broadcasting something called Mommy’s Little Star, I literally fell on my knees and begged Megan to stay up and watch it with me.
What Was It About?
12 year-old Olivia (Maja Vujicic) thinks that she’s found a way bring her parents back together. She’ll become a social media star by posting dancing videos online. If she can get her mother, Lauren (Rebecca Amzallag), to appear in the videos with her, she’ll become an even bigger star and maybe even win a contest because people love to watch young influencers dance with their moms.
Lauren’s new boyfriend, Aiden (Roderick McNeil), offers to act as Olivia’s agent and to guide her to social media stardom. Olivia is excited but soon, she becomes so addicted to being popular online that she starts neglect her friends, her schoolwork, and her well-meaning but strict nanny. Meanwhile, Aiden is actually a con artist who is willing to go to any lengths, including murder!, to get what he wants.
I always enjoy a good Lifetime moral panic film. This film had the typical Lifetime plot of the handsome but sinister man who was trying to take a daughter away from her loving parents but, to that, it also added a fear that I imagine many parents have, the fear of what their children might be doing online. One thing that both Olivia’s mom and her father (played by David Lafontaine) had in common is that neither one of them was really sure what it was that Olivia was getting so excited about and watching them, I was reminded of my aunt’s reaction when I first tried to explain to her what Twitter was. The film suggested that all of the trouble that Olivia and her family go through is worth it because it encourages Olivia to eventually take a break from social media. It’s all rather silly and campy but that’s what makes Lifetime movies so much fun.
I really enjoyed Roderick McNeil’s performance as Aiden. He had the whole charming sociopath act down to perfection.
What Did Not Work?
The film missed an opportunity by not having Olivia herself turn evil in her attempts to win the big contest. Maybe Lifetime had already met their quota for murderous children by the time they got around to Mommy’s Little Star.
“OMG! Just like me!” Moments
Right after my parents divorced, I had a fantasy that lasted for about two years where they would both come to see me performing with the New York City Ballet and they would be so moved by my dancing that they would get back together. That never happened, of course, but still, I could relate to what Olivia was trying to do even if I didn’t quite agree with her methods.
Both Megan and I agreed that Rebecca Amzallag, who did a great job playing Olivia’s mother, looked just like our friend Lea so that was kind of neat. We spent a lot of the film asking ourselves, “Is that what Lea would do?”
Social media is evil!