One Friday evening a few weeks ago, Mr. Max and I settled onto the couch to unwind the stress of the week away with, as usual, a trashy Lifetime movie.
The movie was Me, Mom, Dad and Her, starring Brittney Wilson as Sydney, a teenager moving in with her remarried father and his pregnant wife Emma, played by Melora Hardin. Oddly, it’s also known by the alternate title Just Breathe.
Jan Levinson, I presume?
The plot: Sydney is a rebellious girl-gone-wild. Sydney’s mom hopes that sending her to live with her dad and stepmom will set her straight, but Sydney hates it and starts acting out even more. Stepmother is newly pregnant and tries to be patient with Sydney as she adjusts.
As time goes by, Sydney’s bad behavior escalates – she smokes in the house around her hugely pregnant stepmom, throws things, binge drinks…and then….
I fell asleep.
What can I say? It was a long week.
When I woke up, a rerun of On The Road with Austin and Santino was blaring on the TV and Mr. Max was in the kitchen running the dishwasher.
“What happened?” I said.
“You fell asleep,” replied Mr. Max.
“No, no…in the movie. Did she kill the stepmom?” I said, rubbing my eyes.
There is, after all, a whole class of Lifetime movies that end in murder, either in a campy-crazy sort of way (Mini’s First Time, Murder in the Hamptons) or a more semi-justifiable (?) kind of way (A Face to Die For, Cries Unheard: The Donna Yaklich Story).
And, at the point where I fell asleep, it seemed like Sydney and Emma were coming to a breaking point — the kind of breaking point where someone gets pushed down the stairs.
Mr. Max and I regularly call big, curved staircases “Lifetime Staircases,” because they’re so often used as accomplices in Lifetime Movie murders. I think they must only have one “murderin’ staircase” on set in Canada that they have to just keep loaning out because, I swear, they always look exactly the same.
Much to my surprise, Mr. Max revealed that Me, Mom, Dad and Her (or, Just Breathe) didn’t end in murder OR attempted murder – instead, Sydney and Emma got over their differences and the whole thing turned into a poignant coming-of-age story.
So, it wasn’t exactly a classic Lifetime movie. But it did give me a great idea for a game: Murder or Not? Basically, you’re given a brief synopsis of the beginning of a Lifetime movie and you have to correctly predict whether or not it ends in murder. You can’t play it if you’ve already seen the movie and no Googling or any other funny business.
Ready to play?
Murder or Not?
A young woman in a blue-collar community dreams of a better life, but is held back by her domineering mother. The young woman falls in love with a local boy who is unable to hold down a steady job. When the woman, her new husband, and her mother all move into the same house, tensions flare.
Leave your guess as a comment and include your predicted murderer and murderee, if applicable. I’ll reveal the correct answer in my next post. Winners receive bragging rights (only, sorry!)