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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Hunger Point

I would like to thank Lifetime Wow for alerting me to this film's awesomely bad existence.

We open with our main character Frannie as a child being lectured on the evils of being fat by her mother, Marsha. Her mother is played by Barbara Hershey who has seen better days. In my humble opinion she looks the Joker's love child.

Later at dinner, Marsha tears the skin off Frannie's chicken citing that it's fattening. Frannie's younger skinnier sister, Shelley insists that she needs to be on a diet as well. Marsha promptly tears the skin off her other daughter's chicken as well.

We flash forward to an older, Frannie who has severe eating issues. Shelley is equally messed up and is played by Susan May Pratt. Susan is no stranger to playing someone with an eating disorder, she played Maureen in Center Stage.

Frannie catches Shelley binging and purging and looks worried. Frannie becomes dissatisfied with her paltry meal of veggies and cottage cheese and binges as well. Shelley hospitalizes herself against her mother's wishes.

Frannie and her mom visit Shelley who sarcastically gives them a tour of the place, citing all the various eating disorders people have. After Marsha leaves, Shelley cries and worries that she has ruined her life. She goes off to get her meds and freaks out again when she catches her mother and sister discussing her.

Frannie who was laid off from her job is forced by Marsha to answer phones in her office. Frannie finds a marriage counselor's card in her mom's desk and realizes that her mom is flirting with a co-worker. She also flirts with the free sample guy at the supermarket much to her daughter's dismay. I guess no one ever told Marsha that you didn't have to put out for free samples. Then we are subjected to an awkward scene of them having a tug of war over a carton of ice cream.

Frannie has gotten a new job as a waitress and apparently has been sleeping her way through the staff. She begs her best friend, Abbie to accompany her to visit Shelley. A cute doctor tells her she has a real purdy mouth. Actually he used the word intriguing, but I like my version better.

Rather than tend to her depressed sister, she goes off to flirt with some more with the doctor. Shelley cries so hard that she has a panic attack. Frannie overhears her mom talking to her lover on the phone. She also tells him that Frannie can't take care of herself. Frannie tries to get her father to visit Shelley but he claims that he is too busy. Frannie's father is played by the same actor who played Gus in Don't Tell Mom The Babysitters Dead.

During the visit, Frannie realizes that her mom lied about Shelley filling out her Harvard application and confronts her about it. Her mother avoids the subject and Frannie tells her that she refuses to work for her anymore.

At her waitress job Frannie daydreams about the doctor. One of the co-workers she nailed licks her on the face and she is disgusted. Personally I'd be disgusted too, what kind of guy randomly licks people and at work no less. At the end of her shift, she pours wine on a rude customer's lap. She then tells his mistress to just let his wife have him.

When she gets home she finds a message for her father. Marsha's alleged lover's wife wants to have a talk with him. Frannie calls the woman instead and tells her to leave him alone. It turns out that the woman was simply ordering t-shirts from her father. Her mother insists that she is not having an affair.

Shelley is getting worse, her hair is falling out and she's cutting herself. Frannie calls the cute doctor who doesn't remember her or her sister. She has an outing with Shelley at a local diner, Shelley orders a salad that she obsessively cuts up. Some boys mock her but Frannie stares them down. Shelley later decides to leave the hospital and get her own place.

Frannie has a good interview with an ad agency and goes to the hospital to celebrate. Yes, celebrate, by blasting loud music and dancing in a mental hospital. The other patients join in the dancing and start singing. Even the nurse is dancing. But Frannie celebrated prematurely she didn't get the job.

Shelley leaves the hospital but show no signs of improvement. During an awkward family dinner, the girls' father finally stands up to their mother. This leads to an argument between the family. An upset Shelley overdoses on her meds. The pills didn't kill her though, it was the anorexia that did it. So I've learned that you can survive overdosing or being hit by a car as long as you don't have an eating disorder.

After the funeral Frannie learns that her mom wasn't having an affair with her co-worker, she was having an affair with her boss. While going through Shelley's stuff she finds a list of pro ana sites. She confronts her mom about the affair (again) and her mother tells her she's moving out.

Frannie talks to Shelley's friends and realizes that there are dozens of pro ana sites out there. She goes to see Shelley's shrink who tries to help her but she storms off. Frannie's friend tries to get her to go out but she refuses. She throws her dinner down the garbage disposal.

At the market, Frannie's father breaks down over Shelley's death. He walks in on Frannie purging and orders her to just stop it. She tries to get through to her mother who refuses to talk about Shelley. Frannie begins volunteering at her grandfather's retirement home. She meets Charlie, the grandson of one of the retirees. It's hate at first site which in a Lifetime movie always leads to true love.

Frannie gets freaked out when her father starts dating again and accepts a date with Charlie. They grow closer. It turns out the mistress of the rude customer wants to offer her a job in restaurant marketing. Her mother insists that she take the job. She finally breaks down about Shelley's death. Frannie promises her mother that nothing will happen to her.

So the movie ends with Frannie getting a dream job, dream guy, and even her parents get back together. Oh and her eating disorder vanishes without the need for therapy. And a zombie Shelley comes back to life and they all sing Kumbaya.

Ahh Lifetime, sometimes I hate you.

Next up: The film version of Flowers In The Attic.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Casualties of Love: The Long Island Lolita Story

Now this film will not get the play by play that I reserve for Lifetime movies. This movie was so bad that I found myself fast forwarding through a large portion of this.

In 1993, it was all about Amy Fisher. The story of a teenage girl allegedly shooting her lover's wife per his request captivated the tabloid nation. And the television movie world as well. ABC, NBC, and CBS all aired their own versions of the so called Lethal Lolita dramedy.

This one is CBS' offering and seems to be the Buttafucco's version of the events. This agonizing dull film paints the Buttafucco's as a perfect family torn apart by an obsessed teen. Joey is innocent the films screams loudly over and over.

This film is dull and melodramatic. While they did well casting Joey and Mary Jo, casting Alyssa Milano is way, way, way off. Not only does she not look a thing like Amy Fisher, she didn't make an attempt to look like her. All she does is bounce around in tight jeans and a fake Jersey accent and look embarrassed doing so. Drew Barrymore played Amy in the ABC version. She also didn't look like Amy but at least she tried.

The ending is laughable at best. Evil Amy is convicted as the vindicated Buttafucco's look on. Joey does not get busted for stat rape and he and Mary Jo embrace and live happily ever after.

Avoid this one. If you simply must watch a Amy Fisher movie then watch Amy Fisher: My Story. It isn't as smutty as Drew's or as blatantly boring as this one.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Bonnie & Clyde: The True Story

I have been a Bonnie and Clyde fanatic since I was nine. It was quite a surprise to me that somehow I missed this movie when it came out in '92.

Bonnie & Clyde impressed me with staying accurate to what really transpired between the bank robbing duo. It mentions Bonnie's first marriage and the car fire that nearly killed her. Things that were generally glossed over in other Bonnie and Clyde films. The film takes it's time with story, it simply doesn't throw the two together and instantly have them robbing banks. It also doesn't shy away from the fact that yes, Bonnie and Clyde did kill a lot of people, several of them cops.

The casting however is another story, Dana Ashbrook is too much of a pretty boy to make a convincing Clyde. To make matters worse he bears a striking resemblance to Zack from Saved by the Bell, which didn't help matters any. Tracy Needham who plays Bonnie didn't really jump off the screen. No matter how intense the scenes were, she remained bland and unconvincing.

Doug Savant plays a sheriff that was once a friend of B&C's who is now forced to pursue the felonious duo. I loved him in Melrose Place and Desperate Housewives but in this film he is just boring and has no real point in the story.

The film gets major points for the portrayal of Clyde's sister in law, Blanche Barrows. In the '67 film, Bonnie and Clyde, she was inaccurately portrayed as a hysterical fishwife constantly making trouble. She was also portrayed as having cooperated with the cops, which in real life never happened. This Blanche Barrows is more humanized and treated with a little more respect than the previous film had.

If you can look past the miscasting, this is a fairly decent television movie with a kind of Lifetime feel to it. Also it is a good recommendation for people wanting to know more about Bonnie and Clyde.