Thursday, April 17, 2008

Eight Days to Live

Usually when I watch a Lifetime movie I know exactly what I'm going to mention in my write-up. I write these completely from memory. No notes or anything like that. Almost every Lifetime movie has something so patently ridiculous that it sears its way onto your temporal lobe. Notes become unnecessary.

But not Eight Days to Live. I can't remember a Lifetime movie that was so, well, unmemorable.

We're introduced to Joe Spring drag racing a fancy car down a windy road. He wins the race. Wheeee. The cops show up and he and his girlfriend hightail it out of there. She drops him off at his split-level home.

As soon as I saw a split-level, I knew exactly what we were dealing with: white trash. Before anyone here calls me out for elitism, just remember The Game of Life. Split-levels are the cheapest housing option.

Even if I was being an elitist, it still wouldn't make me wrong. Joe's family is indeed white trash. There's the stoner older brother living in the basement. The father is unemployed and watches hockey games at maximum volume. The mother is buying store brand peanut butter just to get by. The ungrateful brat daughter chastises the mother by saying store brand peanut butter tastes "used." Used peanut butter?

Joe, despite his dangerous driving habits, is the good son. We know this because he's the only member of the family that offers to help Mom with the groceries. But the driving habits are clearly a big part of his life. His license had just been reinstated after a reckless driving incident. How to celebrate? How about going to a three day party up in some town called Chasm?

For some reason, the shitty parents allow this. Well, the father does anyway. He totally undermines the good, caring mother. So take note. The father is a bad guy.

Joe claims it's a three day party, but in reality he is planning on spending a night with his girlfriend while her parents are away. The girlfriend decides she wants to bone in her folks' master bedroom. She even lights dozens of candles to make everything more "romantic."

I've always wondered about stuff like this. Did the girlfriend raid her parents' candle collection? If she did, it seems that getting caught for this little indiscretion would be inevitable. Or did she just purchase dozens of large candles? That's a lot of money to waste on a fuck. An especially large amount of money when you consider the girlfriend, Patti, works the carriages at a grocery store.

So, there is boning. Then, at 3:30 in the morning, some other lady, Lucinda, calls Joe's cell phone. Busted! Patti smashes his cell phone against the wall and kicks him out. Joe decides to drive out and meet Lucinda hundreds of miles away in Chasm.

By the way, the film doesn't present any of this in chronological order. That would be too easy. By now the family knows that Joe is missing. They're just explaining his story through flashbacks. So I'm going to be jumping back and forth here. Sorry. Blame the filmmakers.

On Saturday night, Joe's Mom, Teresa, gets a call from some of Joe's stoned friends. They wanted to know why Joe didn't make it to the party. This greatly concerns Teresa because, "Joe's a good kid. He always calls!" She calls the police to file a report. Naturally, the police's hands are tied. Joe needs to be missing for at least 24 hours.

Teresa is getting all sorts of gruff from her deadbeat husband. He didn't want the police to be called and he's pissed because Teresa's too distracted to - and I swear to God I am not making this up - drive him to a store to buy him pants. He has a big job interview! He needs pants!

Teresa talks with Patti. Patti admits to the boning and the cell phone destruction and drops the name "Lucinda." The Mom decides to do some sleuthing and find out just who this Lucinda girl is. Unfortunately, she can't get into Joe's computer.

But her daughter can! The youngest Spring, Becca, correctly guesses Joe's password: "Dude." They find an e-mail from a Lucinda with a video attachment. Oh goodie! The video features a busty lady, presumably Lucinda, putting on quite the little sex show. Nice. Becca awesomely observes that "it figures this girl is from a town called Chasm." Holy shit! A vagina joke on Lifetime that was actually amusing! Well played!

Teresa goes down a shame spiral. She thought she knew her son and now she's not so sure! What if he was, gasp!, smoking marijuana!? The father, who is getting a follow-up job interview, still refuses to give a shit about his missing son. Now he's all pissed that he doesn't have a new shirt for the new interview. "We bought that blue shirt in 1986!"

This is clearly the most impoverished family in the history of Canada.

Flashback! It's 5:30am, early Saturday morning. Joe is driving to Chasm to fuck Lucinda. But he's falling asleep at the wheel! Oh no! Thankfully, he is startled by a creepy child standing in the middle of the road. The kid claims to be on the run from his hunter uncle who is "off his meds." Oh. How reassuring. Joe gives the kid a lift back to his parents.

Joe gets to Lucinda's on Saturday morning. Lucinda asks Joe to give her and her very skeezy friend a lift. My viewing partner and I didn't know what to call the friend's haircut. We settled on "skunkhawk."

Lucinda and her skunkhawked friend have used the Internet and Lucinda's rack to trick him into becoming a marijuana transporter. Of course. Joe tags along, but he is so upset about the whole situation that he steadfastly refuses to put his penis inside of Lucinda. This upsets Lucinda so much that...

Present day! Teresa decides to make the trip to Chasm and figure out what happened. For some reason, she allows Becca to miss a day of school and tag along. They find Lucinda, presumably stoned out of her gourd, and she refuses to answer Teresa's questions. Joe really hit a raw nerve when he refused to sex her up.

Thankfully, SkunkHawk stole Joe's credit card. So the police have a trail. They raid SkunkHawk's weed operation and he claims that Joe gave him a ride and that was that. Flashbacks confirm this. They also confirm that for the second time in as many nights, Joe almost fell asleep at the wheel. Even the SkunkHawk was concerned. He offered Joe the opportunity to crash for a night. His offer was quickly rejected.

Awesomely, after being detained, SkunkHawk winks at Teresa and calls her "tasty." She screams obscenities and decks him good.

The father isn't a bad guy anymore. During his second job interview, he stared into space and told the boss man that he needed to be with his family right now. His son was missing and they needed him more than he needed the job.

And the stoner son is getting to be more sympathetic too. With the press camped outside his house, he throws a temper fit and shoves a reporter and knocks over a camera. All on live tv! He then goes inside and finally succumbs to his heartache and has a good cry.

The police now think they have enough information to start a proper search and rescue mission. They've narrowed the area where Joe might be. Of course, time is of the essence. A person only has a maximum of eight days without water before he dies. Perhaps you figured that out from the film's title.

The entire family and a boatload of volunteers are involved in the search. They even have helicopters and shit. But then, after Joe has been missing for seven days, they get some new information.....

FLASH BACK! Joe helped some old man change a tire 50 miles south of the search area! After helping, Joe finally falls asleep at the wheel and crashes into a ravine.

Present day: Since Joe has been in a ditch for seven days, the police aren't going to offer another search and rescue mission. They bungled the first one pretty badly and Joe is almost certainly dead. The family and the (female) helicopter pilot urge the police lieutenant to call for another search, but it's out of his hands.

So Teresa and the pilot (twice the female intuition!) take the chopper into the air anyways. They find Joe's car and, miraculously, he's alive. The End.

We're supposed to feel sympathy for Joe. After all, he was a "good kid" who was "strong" and never "stopped believing in himself." Or he was a highway menace drag racer who transported drugs and who tried fucking Internet ladies despite having a loving girlfriend who would fuck him in the master bedroom. He seems much less sympathetic now, doesn't he?


So fucking boring. That's all I got. So. Fucking. Boring.


This is like my worst review ever, right? I wish there was something that struck me as particularly funny.

Oh! When Teresa discovers Joe there is is some hysterical crying. I enjoyed that.


Teresa was on the O.C. The dad was in one episode of Lost. That's usually worth a point, but that episode was especially shitty.


Loads and loads and loads of women's intuition. And a mother stuck with three no-good kids and a deadbeat dad...what Lifetime demographic can't relate to that?


I want my two hours back.


TarashaHale said...

What you like about movies not everyone likes. This movie is based on a true story, and considering the movie actually showed the emotion of the mother, the father the sister and his brother who at first was a complete dick about the whole thing but then it finally hit him. If you have had anyone go missing in your life or any other tragic thing. this kid lived for eight damn days. when everyone was betting that he wouldnt even make it three days! I don't know you but your obviously no one that has any compassion or emotion towards other things. this movie was not about feeling sorry for the boy. it was about wat a family went thru, wat a mother went thru, and the miracle that he actually lived.
i don not mean to be rude but before you tear down a story like that really sit and think about it! unmemorable? as a woman, a mother i will never ever in my life forget that movie that story of how that family went thru this.

Anonymous said...


Rae Ann Dagenais said...

Wow. Just literally watched this movie this evening then decided to Google the name Joe Spring. I agree with Tarasha Hale. You are a very inconsiderate person. Either you had no idea this movie was based on a true story or you are just really nasty and have no compassion whatsoever. If you did know and wrote this then you are stupid! Good luck with your life. I hope something like this never happens to you. Be interesting to see how you handle it! Disgusted

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