Sunday, August 30, 2009
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.