The Films of 2020: Roped (dir by Shaun Piccinino)


Ah, the rodeo.

Though they’re not quite as ever-present as people up north seem to assume, rodeos are still a pretty big deal down here in the Southwest.  Now, I have to admit that I have mixed feelings about the rodeo, largely due to the fact that I spent the early part of my life constantly moving from the city to the country to the city and then back to the country again.  The city girl side of me looks at the rodeo and says, “That’s a silly tradition that’s dangerous to both the animals and the participants and there’s no way that I would ever let any future child of mine have anything to do with it.”  However, the country girl side of me hears the words “rodeo,” and shouts, “Hell yeah!”  Seriously, there’s nothing more exciting than watching a handsome cowboy try to ride a bull without getting killed.

And believe me, rodeos can be dangerous.  There’s an episode of King of the Hill in which Hank and Peggy take Bobby to the rodeo and Peggy mentions that one of her relatives was sent home from Vietnam because he was having rodeo nightmares.  I could believe it.  Rodeos are not petting zoos, despite what some people may think.  Bulls and broncos can be dangerous when they’re angry and a rodeo clown can only provide so much protection.  In fact, there’s some towns that have actually considered baning the rodeo.

Roped takes place in one such town.  City councilman Robert Peterson (Casper Van Dien) doesn’t want the rodeo coming anywhere near his home.  He argues that the rodeo is unfair to animals and that it corrupts the youth.  It’s kind of like Footloose, except instead of banning dancing, the councilman wants to ban a rather foul-smelling carnival in which people are occasionally killed.

Of course, what the councilman doesn’t know is that his own teenage daughter, Tracy (played by Lorynn York) is falling in love with a rodeo cowboy!  Colton Burtenshaw (Josh Swickard) is a up-and-coming star on the rodeo circuit and it’s pretty much love at first sight as soon as he and Tracy meet.  Of course, this means that Tracy is going to have to defy her father and Colton’s going to have to prove that the rodeo isn’t as bad as everyone thinks that it is.  It’s time for laughs, tragedy, love, and sheep.  Yes, you read that right.

Anyway, you can probably guess everything that happens in Roped.  This is a low-budget movie that’s designed for the “I wish they still made movies like they used to do” crowd and, for what it is, it’s not that bad.  It’s hardly a great or even a memorable film but it gets the job done and it’ll appeal to people who have nostalgic memories of the rodeo.  There’s not an edgy moment to be found in the film but people looking for edgy movies probably won’t be watching Roped in the first place.  It’s a nice-looking film and Lorynn York and Josh Swickard make for a cute couple, in both the film and real life.  (York and Scwickard married shortly after making this movie.)  Plus — hey, Casper Van Dien’s in the movie!  Van Dien’s always fun to watch, especially when he’s playing a well-meaning but misguided authority figure.

As I wrap up this review, one final word about the rodeo: it’s pronounced “roe-dee-oh.”  Don’t come down here and say you want to see a “ro-day-oh.”  Those clowns can turn on you quickly.

Lifetime Film Review: Twisted Twin (dir by Jeff Hare)


I always love a good killer twin movie and Twisted Twin is one of the best that I’ve ever seen.

The twins in question are Tess Houston and Sammy Crain, both played by Lauren Swickard (or Lorynn York as she was credited at the time this film was produced).  They were separated at birth and, until recently, neither knew about the other.  Tess grew up in a nice, middle-class household and became responsible and trustworthy.  Sammy grew up in a wealthy household and …. well, she’s totally evil and insane.  I guess you can’t have a good twin without a bad counterpart.

(For the record, I’ve known a few twins and most of them were absolutely charming ….. except for the Ashvins, who we won’t talk about.)

When Tess leaves for her college orientation weekend, she’s shocked to meet Sammy.  Sammy says that it’s just a coincidence that they both ended up on campus at the same time but we know that Sammy has actually been stalking Tess for a while.  Sammy and Tess quickly bond.  Soon, Tess is sleeping over at Sammy’s mansion and Sammy is taking Tess’s Spanish exam for her.  Sound great, right?

Except….

Well, it turns out that there are two dead bodies in Sammy’s house.  Someone murdered Sammy’s adoptive parents and, when the police arrive, Tess is there and the cleaning crew swears that Tess is actually Sammy.  Because Tess actually has been pretending to be Sammy, the police are skeptical when Tess explains that she’s actually Tess.  Meanwhile, Sammy has gone off with Tess’s adoptive mother, Patricia (Jennifer Taylor), and is now having to pretend to be Tess.

So, I absolutely loved this film, largely because it just totally went for it.  There was no worrying about being subtle.  There was no concern about trying to make us believe that the film was meant to be a serious examination of what it’s like to be either a twin or adopted.  Instead, Twisted Twin fully embraced the melodrama and just went totally insane.  Listen, you have to love a film like that.

But, I know what you’re saying.  “Lisa, Lifetime has aired a lot of films about killer twins.  What sets this one apart?”

Well, first off, you’ve got some nerve questioning my opinion.  That said, the thing makes Twisted Twin one of the best killer twin movies ever made is Lauren Swickard’s wonderfully demented performance as Sammy and Tess.  Swickard does a remarkably good job of playing both these roles and it’s a lot of fun watching both Sammy and Tess struggling, at various times, to play each other.  I especially liked it when Sammy suddenly found herself having to make coffee for her mom, despite not knowing where anything was in the kitchen or how Patricia even takes her coffee.  It’s a fun little comedic moment.

It’s an enjoyable Lifetime movie.  It made me wonder what I would do if I ever discovered I had a twin.  I’d probably ask her to live far away from me, to be honest.  I’m not that good at sharing.  Plus, I’ve seen enough Lifetime movies to know that suddenly discovered twins are always bad news.

Lifetime Film Review: Her Deadly Sugar Daddy (dir by Brooke Nevin)


I have to admit that the term “sugar daddy” just amuses the Hell out of me.

Seriously, I can’t hear anyone use that phrase without starting to laugh.  I mean, it’s just such a ridiculous combination of words.  I remember that Dr. Phil went through this phase where, every week, he did a show about irresponsible millennials who, instead of getting a job, were going online and visiting what Phil called, “sugar daddy websites.”  Once you’ve heard Dr. Phil say, “sugar daddy” twenty times, it’s hard to take the term seriously.

Needless to say, when it comes to Lifetime films, sugar daddies are a popular topic.  I’ve lost track of the number of Lifetime films that I’ve seen in which a young woman decides that the only way to make ends meet is to start accepting money from older, wealthier men.  I mean, it seems like a good idea.  You get to dress up and you get a good dinner and you get to spend time in a really nice house and sometimes, you even get to fly on a private plane.  But, in the end, it’s never worth all the trouble.  First off, your parents and your friends will inevitably judge you and say that they’re ashamed of you.  Number two, there’s always a good chance that your sugar daddy will either 1) die of a heart attack at an inopportune time or 2) end up becoming obsessed with you.  To quote an anti-meth commercial that I recently watched on YouTube, “Don’t do it.  Not even once.”

In Her Deadly Sugar Daddy, Bridget (Lorynn York) gets involved in the world of being an escort not just because of the money ($10,000 a week!) but also because she needs something write about.  Bridget and her friend, Lindsey (Aubrey Reynolds), have recently moved over to Los Angeles from Arizona.  (This film makes it sound as if Arizona is literally on the other side of the world from California.)  The daughter of a famous novelist, Bridget wants to make a living as a writer.  However, she doesn’t want to write books, at least not yet.  Instead, she wants to blog.  Unfortunately, when she goes to the corporate headquarters of Swerve.com, she’s told that she doesn’t have enough experience to be one of their writers.  She’s told that she needs to start her own personal blog and build up a following before she can even think of writing for a fine site like Swerve.

(Hey, it worked for that Movie Bob guy.)

A bad date leads to Bridget meeting Anthony (Brent Bailey), a bearded businessman who ends up giving Bridget a job.  He needs someone to keep track of his schedule for him.  Bridget agrees.  He also needs someone to entertain older male clients.  After a little bit of hesitation, Bridget agrees to that too.  After all, she needs something to blog about, right?

Unfortunately, Anthony has an obsessive streak and some control issues.  Add to that, he doesn’t particularly want his employees blogging about his business or, for that matter, taking pictures around the office.  Soon, Bridget’s life is in danger.  If she survives, she’ll at least have something to write about….

Her Deadly Sugar Daddy delivers what you typically want out of a Lifetime film like this.  Anthony owns a big house and he works in a big office and Bridget’s clothes are to die for and an important life lesson is learned at the end of it all.  Brent Bailey is properly charming and intimidating as Anthony and Lorynn York (who has appeared in several of these films) is sympathetic as Bridget.  I have to admit that, on a personal level, I enjoyed the film because I’m a blogger who has worked as a personal assistant so I could relate to Bridget.  That said, I’m not interested in working at Swerve.  Through the Shattered Lens is perfect for me.

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

What Lisa Watched Last Night #172: Web Cam Girls (dir by Doug Campbell)


Last night, I watched one of the final Lifetime movies of 2017, Web Cam Girls!

Why Was I Watching It?

Well, the obvious answer is that I was watching it because it was on Lifetime and our regular readers know how much I love Lifetime!

However, from the minute that I saw the first commercial for Web Cam Girls, I grew convinced that it would be better than the average 2017 Lifetime film.  The commercials were just so melodramatic and wonderfully sordid.  If I’ve learned anything over the years, it’s that the best Lifetime films always seem to be about capitalizing on people’s fear of the dark web.  (Then again, people probably should be scared of the dark web…)

Finally, I knew that I was going to have to review this film just because of the title.  Now, whenever someone does a search for “web cam girls,” there’s a good chance they’ll end up on this site.  They’ll probably get mad once they arrive here but a click is a click.

What Was It About?

Carolyn (Lorynn York) needs money so she becomes a web cam girl.  Her cousin, Alex (Sedona Legge), says it’s a bad and dangerous idea but Carolyn claims that it’s actually the safest way to make money.  She never meets the men who watch her.  All she has to do is undress a little on camera and, pretty soon, she’ll be able to get an apartment in New York and make all of her dreams come true.

But then, one night, Carolyn gives in to temptation to agrees to meet one of her admirers in a sleazy motel.  She promptly vanishes, leaving Alex and their friend Shawn (Liam McKanna) to try to figure out what happened.  Was she kidnapped and, if so, by whom?  There are suspects all around and it’s starting to look like the only way Alex is going to find her is by going on camera herself.

What Worked?

Oh my God, Lifetime really did save the best for last!  After a year that left many longtime Lifetime viewers feeling somewhat disappointed, Lifetime finally gave us the type of movie that made us fall in love with the network in the first place.  Web Cam Girls is wonderfully melodramatic, over the top, and incredibly entertaining.  The houses are beautiful, the villain is perhaps one of the most evil characters to ever appear in a Lifetime film, and the whole thing is full of details that will reward the observant viewer.

For instance, Carolyn, Alex, and Shawn discuss watching Sunrise in film class.  Sunrise, of course, is a film about an innocent who is tempted by the sinful city, much in the same way that Carolyn and Alex are tempted by the sinful internet.  Later, another teacher tells Alex that he was impressed with her essay about H.P. Lovecraft.  References to both Lovecraft and F.W. Murnau in a Lifetime movie?  How can’t you love that?

It was also well-acted.  Stephen Graybill and Joe Hackett were memorable as two sinister teachers.  I liked both Jon Bridell as Carolyn’s drunk but ultimately heroic father and John Dinan as his best friend.  In the role of Carolyn’s mentor, Nikki, Tonya Kay made such a strong impression that a lot of us on twitter were demanding that Nikki get a spin-off film of her own.  Down to the smallest part, everyone made their character interesting.

What Did Not Work?

It all worked.

“Oh my God!  Just like me!” Moments

When I was in high school, I also used to dress in black and write essays about H.P. Lovecraft.

Lessons Learned

Beware the dark web!

 

Cleaning Out The DVR Yet Again #5: 2 Lava 2 Lantula (dir by Nick Simon)


(Lisa recently discovered that she only has about 8 hours of space left on her DVR!  It turns out that she’s been recording movies from July and she just hasn’t gotten around to watching and reviewing them yet.  So, once again, Lisa is cleaning out her DVR!  She is going to try to watch and review 52 movies by Thanksgiving, November 24th!  Will she make it?  Keep checking the site to find out!)

2lava2lantula_blog_trailer_01-e1470434754372

I recorded 2 Lava 2 Lantula off of the SyFy Network on August 6th.

A sequel to last year’s sleeper hit, Lavalantula, 2 Lava 2 Lantula aired shortly after SyFy’s 2016 Shark Week.  Naturally, I watched and live tweeted it.  I have to admit that my 2 Lava 2 Lantula live tweet was probably one of my weaker live tweets of the summer.  For whatever reason, my naturally brilliant wit failed me on that night.  That’s not the fault of the film, which is wonderfully snark-worthy and was obviously made to appeal to live tweeters like me.  Maybe I was just tired.  After all, I was still recovering from the epic Sharknado 4 live tweet.

It’s pretty much impossible to talk about the Lavalantula films without also talking about the Sharknado franchise.  Even more so than the first film, 2 Lava 2 Lantula is, for all intents and purposes, a Sharknado film, with the sharks replaced by giant spiders and Steve Guttenberg playing the Ian Ziering role.  Otherwise, both franchises feature the same campy sense of humor and over the top sensibility.  Both franchises share a love for (deliberately) cartoonish CGI and callbacks to other cult films.  These are films that wink at the audience and say, “We’re in on the joke … are you?”  It’s easy to imagine that, if Ian Ziering and Tara Reid ever start demanding too much money to appear in another Sharknado, Steve Guttenberg and the Lavalantula crew could step in and take their place without missing a beat.

(Ian Ziering even made a cameo appearance in the first Lavalantula, establishing that both franchises take place in the same cinematic universe.)

Wisely, 2 Lava 2 Lantula doesn’t waste any time getting started.  The film opens with fire-breathing spiders suddenly showing up in Florida and it doesn’t devote much time to worrying about how they showed up.  The important thing is that they’re there, they’re breathing fire, and somebody has to save the world.  Luckily, film star Colton West (Guttenberg, of course) is in Florida, shooting a cop movie.  He and his friend, Marty (Michael Winslow), saved Los Angeles in the first film.  Now, they’re going to save Florida!

They’re also going to have to save his daughter, Raya (Michele Weaver), who is fleeing through a burning Miami with her friend, Daniella (Lorynn York).  Daniella has a nasty lavalantula burn on her shoulder and, if you’re familiar with SyFy films, you can already guess what’s going to eventually burst out of Daniella’s back.  That’s one thing about 2 Lava 2 Lantula: it knows, understands, and respects the rules of SyFy.

There’s a scene where Colton is confronted by some soldiers who refuses to let him drive into a restricted zone.  Colton tells them, “My name is Colton West, authorized movie star.”  That really tells you everything that you need to know about 2 Lava 2 Lantula.  It’s a film that refuses to apologize for being ludicrous.  Instead, it embraces the silliness of it all.  Not only does it feature giant, fire-breathing spiders and Steve Guttenberg as a badass action hero but it also finds the time to throw in homages to everything from Dr. Strangelove to Independence Day.  Colton’s speech on why Florida is the best should do a lot to help that beleaguered state feel better about itself.

Whether you’ll like 2 Lava 2 Lantula depends on whether or not you like SyFy films in general.  If you’re not a fan of SyFy’s aesthetic style … well, then you probably wouldn’t be watching a film called 2 Lava 2 Lantula in the first place.  But, for the rest of us, this is a fun little movie that promises fire-breathing spiders and delivers.

Who can’t get into that?

Cleaning Out The DVR, Again #9: The Perfect Daughter (dir by Brian Herzlinger)


The_Perfect_Daughter_2015_7811901

After I finished watching Anne of the Thousand Days, the next film on my DVR was The Perfect Daughter.  The Perfect Daughter originally aired on March 26th on Lifetime.  According to the imdb, it was originally called The Carpenter’s Daughter but I imagine Lifetime changed the title so that it could fit in with films like The Perfect Teacher.

(Add to that, The Carpenter’s Daughter sounds like it should be another one of those films where Tom Hanks argues that Jesus survived the crucifixion and ran off with the Magdalene.)

Anyway, the perfect daughter of the title is Natalie Parish (Sadie Calvano).  Natalie seems to have a great future in front of her.  She’s pretty, she’s smart, and she’s responsible.  She has the grades to get into the Ivy League college of her choice.  On top of all that, despite being shy, she has just been elected student council president!

Oh sure, not everything is perfect for Natalie.  She doesn’t have a boyfriend.  She’s frequently insecure.  She idolizes a mother that she’s never met and her father, Martin (Brady Smith), may be a hunky blue-collar type of guy but he’s also extremely over protective.  He worries that Natalie will grow up to be like her mother, who apparently was not the saint that Natalie believes her to be.

Martin grows even more concerned when, while driving home one night, he comes across his daughter in the middle of the road.  She went to a party, she got drunk, and she had sex with popular jock Sam Cahill (Reiley McClendon)!  Martin freaks out and takes his daughter to the hospital, causing her nonstop embarrassment at school.  He also demands that Sam be arrested for raping his daughter.

Of course, what Martin is overlooking is that Sam did not rape his daughter.  As Natalie tells him, the sex was consensual.  Martin is shocked but he’ll be even more shocked when Natalie reveals that she’s pregnant.

Complicating matters is that Martin is working for Sam’s father, the snobbish Bruce Cahill (Parker Stevenson).  The film also suggests that Martin may be in love with Bruce’s wife, Julie (Meredith Salenger).

What I was wondering, as I watched the film, is why Natalie was chasing after Sam when Martin’s business partner, Nick (Johann Urb), was so much hotter.  And he was also single!  Seriously, Sam was a nice guy and everything but Nick epitomized this sort of sweaty, manly glory, the type of sexy that otherwise seems to be limited to the guys that you see in pickup truck commercials.

ANYWAY — The Perfect Daughter may sound like a typical Lifetime film but actually, it’s not.  Though there is a little bit of melodrama towards the end, The Perfect Daughter is more of a character study of an overprotective father struggling to accept that his daughter is growing up.  The story has a bit more nuance than the typical Lifetime story but, at the same time, the decision to tone down the melodrama comes at a cost.  The Perfect Daughter is a well-acted and intelligent film but it’s not a particularly fun movie.

In the end, it’s okay but it’s no Perfect Teacher.