Starring: Rosario Dawson, Katherine Heigl, Geoff Stults, Isabella Kai Rice, Whitney Cummings, Cheryl Ladd
Directed By: Denise Di Novi
Plot: Julia (Dawson) is a blogger who has met her one true love, David (Stults). Of course, David comes with a little baggage. An adorable little girl named Lily (Rice). And they lived happily ever after. Oh, wait, no. David’s psycho ex (Heigl) just can’t let David go. And now we have a Lifetime original movie.
What Works: Rosario Dawson deserves an Oscar for “Best Performance In An Otherwise Terrible Movie”. She was super committed to this character and this plot. Way above and beyond. Like, this might be one of her best performances. If there’s one legitimate reason for you to watch this film, it’s Dawson. She gives a masterclass on how you can still be fantastic even if you’re stuck in a shitty movie. And for what it’s worth, the casting of Heigl is actually spot on. She’s already an unlikable actress, so putting her in the villain role is just brilliant casting. Not that she gives a great performance, it’s just really easy to hate her. She plays “crazy” well.
What Doesn’t Work: It’s one of those movies where people just keep making terrible decisions. That lady that always sits in the movie theatre during horror films and says “don’t go upstairs!”, “don’t answer the phone!”… she would have a field day with this movie. Not to get into spoilers too much, but the movie reveals pretty quickly that Julia used to have an abusive ex. Later, she gets a letter saying that her restraining order against him has expired. Then she starts getting weird phone calls from an “unknown” number. Someone sends her flowers. At NO POINT does she decide to let David in on her secret, even though David is trying to also protect his little daughter. Lifetime really does churn out movies exactly like this, and aside from Dawson’s performance, there’s no real reason this needed to be pushed into theatres. There’s something even worse about this film having such incredibly vapid and poorly written female characters, yet being directed by a female director. Come on now. Get your shit together.
Final Word: Unless you’re a huge Rosario Dawson film, I literally can’t find a single reason to recommend this movie. It’s the movie that you saw the trailer and said “that looks awful”, and you’ll come out of it saying “I was right.” Stupid characters making stupid decisions in a plot that is so been-there-done-that, I promise you that Lifetime will show a movie TODAY with an almost exact same plot.
Final Grade: D
Admittedly, if Rosario Dawson wasn’t in this, it probably would be an F. But, she’s that good in this film. It also helps that immediately after this, I watched a movie that was worse, and was reminded of what a true F movie looks like.