23 Jun

A Deadly Adoption

You know the dangers of diabetic ketoacidosis.

-Robert (Will Ferrell)

The Setup

The following post is written in the perspective of Leanna’s Lifetime alter ego, Jessica (+ five glasses of three different wines and a few splashes of Gatorade). Jessica was created specifically for this Lifetime event, but who knows. She may come back to visit from time to time when the right amount of wine is present.

One day, I was bored on the bus and checking Facebook. Okay, that makes it sound like I only check Facebook while I’m on the bus, which isn’t true. I check it every day to find out who else has gotten engaged before me (spoiler alert, it’s literally every girl who went to my high school and it’s totally cool even though I casually freak out circa 11:00 at night every night but DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT). Anyway, in my spontaneous perusal of Facebook, I noticed that a movie titled A Deadly Adoption starring Kristen Wiig and Will Ferrell was trending. On Lifetime? Wait what?! Exactly.

We had previously planned to watch Face/Off next but I messaged our Munch group text immediately and let the others know that I had decided unanimously that our plans had changed.

The Food

We created a meal that was as melodramatic as any Lifetime movie ever made. We consulted The Toast for creative inspiration (thanks Toast, you guys are really at the cutting edge of Lifetime trends, and we appreciate that) and were not disappointed. We learned that most Lifetime movies have titles that pretty much tell you 100% of what the movie is about, so we created a meal around the following title: “A Family Affair.”

Hence, Jessica was born.

Picture a fancy dinner out with your significant other. You think tonight is the night that you take the next step. The big next step. Engagement.

You’re wrong.

Dinner starts out civil with a salad. Not the best salad you’ve ever had, but you’re at an Italian restaurant tonight so you look the other way. In your mind, everything Italian is classy AF. You don’t even question the fact that your soon-to-be fiance is barely touching the first course in this pre-fixe menu because you assume he’s overcome with nerves. It’s fine, don’t worry about it. You two have been together for four, going on five, rock-solid years and you feel confident that the wedding bells are just a stone’s throw away. You don’t realize that it is about to all crumble apart like a stale chocolate chip cookie forgotten at the bottom of your purse.

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You get through the salad without any major drama, but after they bring out the pasta BOOM everything changes. Because he proposes? No, he spent the first course building you up because he’s about to take you DOWN. It’s over. He lets you know he’s gotten your sister pregnant and they’re going to start a family. Nevermind his previous testament that kids are for other people, not for him. Or that your sister vowed never to have another child after she pleaded with you to adopt her first and raise it as your own because she “can’t even handle it right now.” To top it off, they expect you to be supportive of their decision. Sorry, what? All you can do is throw a plateful of the red sauce all over his perfectly pressed J Crew shirt and hope it clogs the gears in his designer watch.

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He leaves. It’s over. It’s hard. It’s a pre-fixe menu, so the waiter awkwardly delivers your tiramisu gelato despite the evidence on the table that the evening is over. Poor guy just wants a tip but you’re too shocked to move. It works to his advantage. You debate stuffing your face with cream and sugar but instead find yourself completely immobile and in a volcano of regret, fury, sadness, and embarrassment as the check for two arrives at your table. The person you knew intimately for years didn’t even have the decency to pay. You just sit and absorb the tragedy that has been bestowed upon you. There nothing else you can do. It’s hard being you.

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The Drinks

Wine. Wine wine and then more wine. Because this dinner was created around the idea of a pre fixe menu, we created a wine pairing to go with it.

Rey Santo Verdejo (2013) with Iceberg Lettuce Salad with Creamy Pesto Dressing.

Ontañon – Maceración Carbónica Rioja (2013) with Spaghetti with Heirloom Tomato Sauce and Ricotta Parmesan Meatballs.

Finally, Harveys Bristol Cream alongside the delicious Tiramisu Gelato.

The Rules:

  1. Drink whenever you marvel at the sheer craftsmanship of Will Ferrell’s beard.
  2. Drink whenever someone refers to the diabetes.
  3. Drink whenever the word “organic” is mentioned.

The Movie

Knowing this was a Lifetime movie, we set our bar pretty low, and we were still pretty disappointed. We literally only watched it because of the promise of an overly melodramatic performance from Kristen Wiig (forget Will Ferrell – we saw Anchorman 2 and it was just mediocre, so we weren’t expecting a life-changing performance from him).

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Instead, we kind of just felt like we watched a typical Lifetime movie, which we did not sign up to do – especially after a night prepped with this much wine. We thought we signed up for a parody of typical Lifetime movies starring comedy stars Kristen Wiig and Will Ferrell to make it something new and different. Instead, it was just disappointment after disappointment, except for Charlie’s smile which was never a disappointment. Keep smiling Charlie. Oh wait, you can’t.

We predicted every twist.

Except Will/Robert cheating on Kristen/Sarah with Joni before he knew she was Bridget. Still, that did explain the random girl with purple hair in the trailers and the allusions to Will’s seemingly nonexistent alcoholism.

The performances were lackluster and it honestly felt like a commercial or PSA (not sure which, TBH) for diabetes.

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Maybe that was Lifetime’s gimmick in the end. Get a bunch of people to watch one of their movies with the glossy allure of Kristen Wiig and Will Ferrell. Then, you get them to commit to watching a close approximation of your actual movies play out and hope that you’re able to convert 25% of your new audience into melodramatic movie addicts. Well, if that was your plan all along Lifetime, bravo.

The Reviews

Andre: A Mediocre Ranking would be the title of the Lifetime movie about my review of this Lifetime movie. Yes, the movie was heavy handed to the point of it being funny, but it was honestly not as heavy handed as I wanted it to be! I wanted them to push the envelope a bit further and maybe make some jokes at Lifetime’s expense, but they didn’t, and we were left with just an okay movie. Sure, I was surprised more than once, but I was also surprised by how disappointed I was at the movie as a whole.

Leanna/Jessica: Four glass of wine out of ten. I expected Kristen/Sarah and Will/Robert to really stab a knife into the back of Lifetime tropes, but instead it felt like just another one of their mediocre movies. The women were always at fault (unless of course the diabetes were to blame), but it wasn’t over-the-top enough to make it funny in a satirical way. I was hoping for another made-for-TV-movie sensation like Sharknado, but this was just a disappointment. Do yourself a favor and don’t watch any reruns of it this week or ever.

Ben: I have to admit, hindsight being 20/20, we probably should have watched Face/Off instead this, even if I had an enjoyable time over the course of the night. The movie itself I will probably rate a 40%. It had the most damning of properties in that is was pretty boring. I expected a little bit more with the comedic talent of Kristen Wiig and Will Ferrell. They never pushed it enough, and ultimately I was wondering if Lifetime even wanted to reference their own tropes. During the first 20 minutes, I thought they were actually going to do so, but the rest of the movie ended up being uninteresting and creatively bankrupt. But, Lifetime, I guess I have to commend you for successfully getting us to watch a movie and a TV channel that we would have otherwise ignored.

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