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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Fifteen And Pregnant

"Don't your brain ever hurt from thinking so much?" This is one of the first sentences to welcome us to Fifteen and Pregnant. Accompanied by a cheesy pop tune, Kristen Dunst loses her virginity to her boyfriend. "Don't tell me you love me if you don't" she whispers to him.

Tina's parents are divorcing, her brother is leaving to live with her father, and her bad boy boyfriend has just dumped her. Don't be sad they dated from July to October, that's like a century in teen years. Tina is a good Christian girl, in a Lifetime movie, and she's had sex. Doom, Doom, Doomedy Doom.

Tina's mother starts to notice that Tina is sporting a baby bump. Poor Park Overall, she was my favorite actress in the '90s. In this film, she is just a whiny, walking, talking PSA. Tina takes a pregnancy test and confesses all to her mother.

By the way, abortion is the most horrible, wrong, grossest thing ever, according to Tina. Really, Lifetime, you really wanna go there? She worries about things all teen moms worry about. Will she have to give up soccer? Who wrote this movie, The Church Lady from SNL?

Morning sickness rears it's ugly head for Tina. There are many scenes in this film that makes me laugh, but the morning sickness scene takes the cake. Despite being suddenly sick, Tina has the time to turn on the shower to mask the sounds. Who really has the time to do that when you are suddenly ill?

A clueless Ray shows up at Christmas but Tina's mom sends him away. Tina's younger sister can't take the insanity and wants to live with her father. Enter Tina's friend, the other teen mom, juggling the weight of work, day care, and two whole college classes. She's the walking, talking, PSA for abstinence.

Ray has heard about the pregnancy and vows to be a better father than his dad. He's got nothing better going on, why not have a kid? Seriously who writes this movie? Tina's worst fear is confirmed, she can no longer play soccer. The school wants to send her off to one of those special unwed mother schools. Do special unwed mom schools really exist? I've known a couple of teen moms and they were allowed to continue going to school.

Tina is by far the whiniest character that Lifetime has to offer. I understand that she's supposed to be immature and hormonal but she's irritating as hell. Kara Thrace (a.k.a Starbucks from BSG.) plays a single mom and another one of the movies many object lessons.

Ray pulls the how do I know the baby's mine card and skips out. And promptly starts screwing other women. Ray then has the audacity to get mad when she doesn't invite his relatives to his baby shower. He offers her a car seat and a stroller, such a prince. Tina catches him making out with a girl in the mall and confronts him. She warns the girl that he will knock her up too.

There's a useless grandmother character who shows up and lectures everybody. And for some reason her theme song is some banjo/accordion monstrosity. There was no reason for this character at all.

Tina must live in the town without pity because nobody shows up for her baby shower. The younger sister decides to move back in and help her sister out. Tina's parents begin to fall in love all over again. If I can't hate Tina more, she refers to one of her classmates' baby as fat with ugly hair. Seriously?

Tina and her teen mom get into an argument over who's the worst teen mom ever. Tina has a hissy fit when her sister fractures her ankle and takes over the couch that Tina was sitting on. They tell this poor injured girl to move so her whiny sister can be happy. Hey, it is possible to hate this character more. The sisters do attempt to bond but it doesn't go well.

The younger sister grows tired of being in her sister's shadow and goes off to live with useless grandmother. As soon as sister leaves dad moves back in. Way to make the younger sister feel even more unloved.

Tina goes into labor with her mom, dad, other teen mom, and other teen mom's mom in attendance. Don't hospitals have rules about immediate families only. Ray shows up for the birth with his girlfriend (classy) and is told to get out by Tina's father. She gives birth to a boy.

Useless grandmother and unloved sister show up to see the kid. Everything oohs and aahs in slow motion as Tina chirps about how hard it's going to be being a teen mother. Lifetime, you owe me.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Danielle Steel's No Greater Love

Before James Cameron tackled Titanic, Danielle Steel dipped her literary toes into the Titanic's icy depths.

The 1996 film based on the 1991 novel centers around Edwina Winfield, a young woman who loses her parents and fiancee in the Titanic disaster. Faced with raising her family and protecting her parents legacy, Edwina turns her back on love. But given this is a Danielle Steel creation, her back won't be turned for long.
The opening scenes on the Titanic are quite possibly the most interesting scenes in this film. And that is only because the Titanic scenes were edited from the film S.O.S. Titanic shot in '79. Like the ship, the movie sinks quickly into a repetitive maudlin waste of 105 minutes.

Normally, I love Kelly Rutherford but she is simply a blank slate in this movie. What happened to the fire and passion that she brought to Melrose Place and later Gossip Girl? It's hard to root for a porcelain doll.

The film also wastes an inordinate amount of footage on the character of Alexis. Like most Danielle Steel heroines, her head is turned by the prerequisite sleaze old enough to be her father. Alexis' character in a word annoying. I mean, ripping out your hair annoying, from her first appearance as a little moppet to her last as a sullen teenager.

Something else in the film really bothered me. Edwina turns down suitors left and right. Even though she is attracted to the fabulous Sam Stone, she still can't get over her lost love. Until she finally boards a ship again and meets Mr. Right Now.

Of course, he is charming but simply can't marry her, so there is no threat of a future. He does take down her hymenal iceberg and teaches her that she can settle for Sam. Sadly, a girl having a fling with one man in order to be able to love another man is nothing new in the land of Danielle Steel. This plot rears it's ugly head in other Danielle Steel novels as well.

The other actors are equally as blank and unmemorable save for the appearance of a young Hayden Christensen as Edwina's brother, Teddy.

If you like Danielle Steel and have a couple hours to kill, this is a great rainy day fare. It's a typical romance film with the ending tied up in a perfect happy bow. Titanic enthusiasts beware: disregard this film as it brings nothing to the table.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Retro Flashback: Dance Til Dawn

For starters, this has to one of the worst DVD covers I have ever seen. This screams bad photo shop in large, pink, neon letter. Dance 'Til Dawn is from the same era as Camp Cucamonga where networks crammed their latest and greatest stars into TV movies for our amusement.

The plot of the film consists of a group of students and some parents on the evening of their prom. The film stars Christina Applegate as Patrice, a snooty princess who is determined to make prom the best night ever. Check out future Friends star, Matthew Perry as her much beleaguered boyfriend, Roger.

Alyssa Milano plays Shelley who is dumped by her sex-crazed boyfriend (Brian Bloom) the day before prom. Determined not to let anyone find out, she winds up hiding out with the school geek, Dan. Dan is hiding from his father (Alan Thicke) who is under the mistaken impression that his son is popular.

Alyssa Milano was very hard to buy in this role. She didn't even look old enough for high school, let alone being a senior. It is even harder to accept when she interacts with her older looking cast members.

Tracy Gold plays Angela, a nerdy girl with over protective parents. She is asked to the prom by Shelley's ex boyfriend, Dan, who believes that she will be an easy conquest. Unbeknown to her, her parents (played by Kelsey Grammer and Edie McClurg) are following her and watching her every move.

The movie is a typical and predictable '80s fare. All the good kids get their happy endings and the bad kids get their comeuppance. The adults don't really seem to have a place in the film and it would've been a better idea to keep it the parent free haven most '80s films were.

This film is still entertaining and a must watch for fans of the '80s.