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Thursday, July 9, 2009

A Secret Between Friends a.k.a When Friendship Kills

I realize this movie was filmed in Seattle so I'll likely spend most of it looking for familiar landmarks. Amidst a beach party, some teens remark on how wild and out of control a girl named Jennifer is acting. (Filmed in my old hometown and featuring a character with my first name I'm in love.)

The other teens try to get her to eat, Jennifer flips out over her friend Lexie being there and accuses her of spying on her. It's later in the evening and Jennifer is even drunker than ever, Lexie takes this moment to apologize to her. Jennifer tells her that she hates her and runs straight into the path of a car.

It is now a year earlier we learn that Lexie has just moved from Chicago to Seattle and hates it. Lexie's mom (the fabulous Lynda Carter a.k.a Wonder Woman) assures Lexie and her little sister that everything will be alright.

At volleyball tryouts, Lexie meets Jennifer a typical Lifetime movie teenager. You know, pretty, smart, talented, doomed. The two become bff's and Lexie is likely issued a friendship bracelet and a mandatory eating disorder. (By the way, all these volleyball scenes are giving me vivid flashbacks to the nightmare known as high school gym.)

Lexie spends the night at Jennifer's house, Jennifer has a micromanaging mom and a boring obsession with a french actress from the '70s. The two stuff their faces with junk food,Jennifer promptly throws it all up and makes Lexie promise not to tell.

For some reason we get to see a shopping montage. (Red vinyl, faux leopard skins, and berets! Oh my!) Lexie and Jennifer decide they are fat and start dieting and intensively exercising. She begins to lose weight and starts getting noticed by the boys. This gives Lexie more incentive to lose even more weight.

Recognize this cutie? That's Ryan Reynolds playing Lexie's love interest.

Lexie and her sister go to visit her father for Thanksgiving. (The dad is played by Josh Taylor known for playing Dylan McKay's father on 90210 and Roman Brady on Days.) Lexie, who is hoping her parents will reunite is disgusted to learn that he has a new girlfriend.

Lexie is brushing her hair and realizes that her hair is falling out. Her mother busts in on her looking for a tampon. Lexie doesn't have any and the mom complains that she didn't have any last month either. This scene is supposed to illustrate that she stopped having her period. (For me, it illustrates that Wonder Woman is far to busy fighting crime to buy her own.)

Lexie's mother takes her to a gynecologist and wonders if Lexie has an eating disorder. The clueless gynecologist blames the missed periods on stress over the divorce. Jen is approached by a photographer (Lochlyn Munro) who thinks she could be a model. When he declares that Lexie is not model material, Jen refuses to have the pictures done.

After Lexie faints during a volleyball game, she is diagnosed with anorexia. She is sent to a clinic where she is encouraged to start eating again. In a rather disturbing scene, the clinic resorts to force feeding Lexie much to her mother's dismay. She learns that Lexie's dad authorized the forced feeding and the two argue.

Jen visits Lexie at the clinic, Lexie urges Jen to seek help but she refuses. Lexie confides in her mother who tries to get through to Jen's mom. An angry Jen refuses to talk to Lexie. Lexie blows off therapy for the aforementioned beach party. We end up seeing the exact same scenes that we saw at the beginning of the film. Jen dies not because she was struck by a car but because her heart was weak.

Depressed and feeling guilty, Lexie begins starving herself again. Lexi's mom tries to take her back to the clinic but Lexie talks her out of it. Lexie's mom takes time off of work and tries to get her to eat again. While jogging, Lexie faints again but her mom still doesn't take her to the clinic.

Lexie's dad shows up and argues with his ex-wife. He gets a court order to send her back to the hospital. Lexie packs her things and tries to run away but breaks down at the front door. She starts to eat again, and convinces her dad not to send her away.

At her triumphant return to the world of volleyball, Lexi sees Jen sitting in the bleachers, giving her a thumbs up. (I wish I was making this up.) She wins the meet and a bastardized Rocky theme fills the air. The world makes sense again.

Next up....

What do James Spader, Brooke Shields, Tom Cruise and a raging house fire have in common? You'll find on in the 1981 "tearjerker" Endless Love.


Sadako said...

Ugh, cheesy ending.

I totally remember the modeling scene, though!

Also when I was that age my mom bought me all my pads and they were in a common area, so...yeah, buy your own pads, Wonder Woman!!

nikki said...

I have a little thing for Ryan Reynolds. But then again, who doesn't? He was terrible as Billy on Fifteen though...but then again that had more to do with Fifteen than with Ryan Reynolds.

But yeah, I can't believe I totally remember this TV movie. Most of them are so forgettable. As soon as you started, I was like, "Oh yeah, the one where the girl died of a heart attack, not actually by being hit by a car."

Totally cheeseball, totally why we love TV movies!

Sadako said...

Sorry, this is old but you relinked to it so I wanted to go back and relive the nostalgia. I loved this movie. Is there a scene where Lexie vomits and sees blood on the towel? I think it was in some lifetime movie, and it totally made me never want to be bulimic. Well, that and not hating how I look.

The girl who plays Lexie played one of Shawn's dates on Boy Meets World. She was in "Chick Like Me."

cassandra said...

this is such a good movie. and is definately easy to relate to and in my opinion anyway, captures what eating disorders, both anorexia and bulimia, do to not only the person affected but also family and friends of the affected person.