When I told my girlfriend, Terri, that I was a die hard fan of Lifetime movies, her eyes lit up and she told me of the legend of Cyber Seduction. Cyber Seduction was to be the greatest and most alarmist Lifetime movie that I was ever to set eyes on. The anticipation was so strong that it made the air thick. When we finally caught it on our DVR, the excitement was palpable. So, ladies and gentlemen, I present Cyber Seduction.
The film opens with a teenage boy who was just wailed on in a fight. Black eye, facial cuts, the whole nine yards. He's standing by a pool. He jumps in, presumably to drown himself. Is it even possible to drown yourself in a pool? Purposefully, I mean. That's impossible, right?
And now, flash back to three months ago. Justin is an all-state swimmer with a hot girlfriend who loves her some Jesus and two supportive parents. He's got it all!
When Justin makes state, the evil football players take notice. They try to invite him into some kind of jock clique. Inclusion to the clique is pretty easy. You just have to watch some porn on leader Tim's WebTV and bone the brains out of school trollop Monica. Monica is so stereotypically whorish that she maintains a website where she is in various states of undress. Someone sends the link to Justin and the descent into madness begins.
By the way, Monica looks way too much like Miley Cyrus. Associating the lady wearing nothing but lingerie with Miley Cyrus is a one way ticket to Megan's List.
Now, this is Lifetime. I understand that they are walking a fine line when it comes to what they can show and what they can't. But, good grief, seeing Monica in a Catholic school girl outfit with a small amount of cleavage is not pornography. It's Halloween. And, yeah, it's creepy when Justin takes his mouse cursor and continuously moves it around Monica's virtual knockers, but are we really supposed to believe this is addicting?
I guess we are. After no time at all, Justin is slowing down in the pool. He even manages to only get third at a big meet. Third! The indignities of bronze!
This is where Justin's mom begins to see a problem. She was a swimmer herself and she knows that Justin was suffering from lack of focus. She remembers that one time she saw something kind of porny on Justin's computer and immediately decides he is addicted. Because teenage boys looking at porn is just not normal.
Things devolve further when Justin's mom, Diane, tells her husband that they can no longer afford a weekend vacation to San Francisco. Why? Because third place isn't going to cut it for swimming scholarships. That's how much crazy pressure this witch is putting on Justin. Bad mom o'clock.
Justin continues to download "pornography." Of course he doesn't masturbate. This is Lifetime for Pete's sake! Instead, he downs energy drinks with an unprecedented gusto. He goes through a case in a week! Crazy!
At one point, Justin's nine-year-old brother catches the porn on the desktop. In exchange for promising not to tell, Justin shows him what's up. The brother is immediately addicted and is soon enough showing his peers and stealing CD copies of Justin's porn. Specifically, a disk titled...
Wait for it.....
Wait for it.....
That is a sexy, sexy title.
Also, Blogger spell check says that "vaginas" isn't a word. But "penises" makes it through. Those sexist assholes.
The mom finds Virgin's Vaginas in the kid's underwear drawer and now both kids have Hell to pay. They both lose computer privileges and Mommy buys a porn blocking application.
Justin finds ways around this of course. Downloading porn on to his Christian girlfriend's PDA? Check. Using the library computer to look at boobies? Check. Or, my favorite, using Timmy's WebTV to look at bondage porn. This doesn't go over well with Timmy and the football clique decides to boot him out of their social circle.
Monica still wants to fuck his brains out though. After all, Justin isn't getting what he wants (virgin vagina) from his current girlfriend and she is always listening to Switchfoot. As Monica so sweetly points out, "Switchfoot is for altar boys." Altar boys? Maybe. But Switchfoot is definitely for morons.
Diane is further convinced that Justin's porn habit is a debilitating addiction when she talks with a friend. This friend, you see, got divorced because her husband was addicted to Internet pornography. She warns Diane that porn will ruin Justin's life.
And it almost does when Justin is caught looking at porn on a school computer. This puts Justin on all sorts of probation. Not to mention the shame of having your parents come to school because you were getting boners in the school library. Justin is now super grounded.
But that doesn't stop him from sneaking out to go on a date with Monica. Monica takes him to the master bedroom and promptly starts taking off her clothes and dry humping our protagonist. But Justin soon realizes that the fantasy doesn't always live up to the reality and decides to abandon ship. Monica doesn't take rejection too well and has a hissy fit. She kicks Justin out of the house, goes to the bathroom, looks at herself in the mirror, and, I swear to God I am not making this up, starts screaming and smashes her head into the sink. Her head is completely split open.
Around this time the Christian girlfriend is finding porn on her PDA and Justin is totally dumped. He's hit rock bottom. He apologizes to his family and tries making amends with the Christian girlfriend by offering to go to church with her. She won't take him back, but remains open to friendship.
Then, while walking back from his girlfriend's, he's kidnapped by the football clique. You see, they think Monica's wounds (which now somehow include a black eye and a bunch of facial cuts) were caused by Justin beating the shit out of her. Oh, how I wish that's what happened.
Justin walks to the school and decides to jump in the pool to kill himself. But while he's underwater, he thinks about swimming, his family, his ex-girlfriend, and all the other non-porny things he has to live for. He decides to live! The end.
ACTUAL AWESOMENESS: 7
I mean, it was what it was. If you can accept the fantasy that seeing a girl in a sexy outfit can lead to ruin, then the film was more than competent. No glaring plot holes, no terrible direction, competently acted. Not bad.
IRONIC AWESOMENESS: 10
I guess it all depends on how much humor you derive from someone drinking Red Bull as a substitute for jacking it. In the first 45 minutes of the movie, I was convinced this movie would rate a solid 10 in this category, but it gets old. The movie finds a high plateau of ridiculousness and stays there. After a while, it needed a push. And then Monica splits her head open. Done and done.
HEY! IT'S THAT GUY!: 3
Diane was played by Kelly Lynch. Hey, memo to Lifetime casting agencies, if you're making a movie about the evils of Internet pornography, don't cast someone whose boobies are on the Internet (nsfw).
Anyways, Kelly Lynch was in Road House which, uh, I admit I've never seen. I've heard nothing but good things. It's a cinematic blind spot and I apologize.
Timmy is played by Kyle Schmid. This is notable because he plays the exact same role in the excellent David Cronenberg movie A History of Violence.
A kid is in trouble. Only a woman's intuition and God can save him!
GRAND TOTAL: 29
Sorry, Terri, it's not the greatest Lifetime movie ever. But it's damn good. It lags in the middle, but the beginning and end are not to be missed.