Last night, I watched Prescription for Danger on Lifetime!
Why Was I Watching It?
Much like The Wrong Daughter, this was another Lifetime movie that I somehow missed when it originally aired. Lifetime was nice enough to rebroadcast it last night, which gave me a chance to get caught up!
What Was It About?
Imagine two people who appear to have it all.
On the one hand, you have Ivy (Joanne Kelly). Ivy is a smart and successful businesswoman. She’s driven, often to the point of distraction. She’s put her personal life on hold and it’s paid off with a lot of success at a young age. Of course, as a result, she’s still single. And she’s been suffering from terrible migraines ever since college. When she finally pushes herself too far, she collapses and finally has to go to the hospital.
And then there’s Dr. Mark Ryan (Shaun Benson). At first glance, he appears to be intelligent, kind, professional, and dedicated. Of course, there is a woman who is suing him but Dr. Ryan swears that she’s crazy. And Dr. Ryan has been fined in the past for ethical lapses but then again, who hasn’t?
When Dr. Ryan examines Ivy, he announces to her that she has brain cancer but that he has the perfect cure! But what if Ivy doesn’t have cancer? What if Dr. Ryan is lying to her and giving her placebos just because he’s a manipulative sociopath?
And, if that’s bad enough, what if Ivy finds herself falling in love with him?
Joanne Kelly and Shaun Benson both did a good job in the leading roles. Benson, who previously played another Lifetime psycho in Kept Woman, was convincing both as a caring doctor and a totally unhinged madman. You understood why Ivy was willing to trust the doctor and, at the same time, you couldn’t wait to see him get his final comeuppance.
Director Caroline Labrèche did a great job of visually putting us into Ivy’s mind, especially when she was on the verge of collapsing at the start of the film. As melodramatic as the plot was, Labreche actually told her story in a relatively low-key fashion, one that was certainly different from what we typically expect from a Lifetime movie.
What Did Not Work?
At the same time, the film’s relatively low-key approach was something of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you had to appreciate the fact that the film was attempting to take its story seriously. At the same time, as a regular Lifetime viewer, I couldn’t help but regret that the film didn’t take the opportunity to go totally over-the-top. Maybe I’ve been spoiled by the Stalked By My Doctor films.
(Then again — and this is why you should probably ignore most critics — if the film had gone over-the-top, it’s likely that people online would have complained that it was just trying to be another Stalked By My Doctor. Ultimately, the only critic that matters is you, the viewer.)
“OMG! Just like me!” Moments
I related to Ivy, in both her drive to be successful and her hesitation about dealing with hospitals and doctors. If, God forbid, I was every told that I needed chemotherapy, I would have had much the same reaction as Ivy. Joanne Kelly did a good job of bringing her to life,
Trust no one, which seems to be a pretty common lesson to be learned from Lifetime films. If you didn’t already distrust doctors as a result of the Stalked By My Doctor films, you certainly will after Prescription for Danger. (Except, of course, for the doctor who I see for my ADD, because he is seriously a prince!)