Monday, April 20, 2009

Casualties of Love: The Long Island Lolita Story

Leading up to the debut of Lifetime's movie about Natalie Holloway's murder and/or cocaine overdose (but remember, her family claims she would never drink, lol), Lifetime Movie Network has been showing a bunch of "ripped from the headlines" movies. I usually hate these. The demented imagination of teleplay writers is always much better than the facts. But, hey, an Amy Fisher movie. Sweet!

Casualties of Live: The Long Island Story was presented as being ripped from the headlines. But this movie is about as non-fiction as Shrek. And it utterly fails as a movie that belongs on Lifetime. The Onion recently put up an article about Lifetime For Men where all the movies end with husbands working up the bravery to kill their spouses. This movie very much belongs on that network.

Let me just get this right out of the way. In Casualties of Love, Joey Buttafuoco is a victim. Not because his wife got shot by his mistress, but because he doesn't have a mistress. Yes, despite the fact that Joey Buttafuoco plead guilty to statutory rape*, this movie claims that Joey never slept with Amy Fisher. He was just a victim of a manipulative sexually active girl who wanted what she couldn't have.

*Tough break for Joey on this one. The age of consent in almost every state is 16. Not in New York though. Seventeen is ok. Sixteen is jailbait.

The movie opens in 1988. Joey Buttafuoco is a cocaine addict. His wife Mary Jo tells him to cut that shit out. Joey goes to rehab and comes out the perfect man. By 1992, Joey is making a good living at his father's auto shop. He's a great father and he's a dutiful husband. How dutiful? He has sex with Mary Jo in the shower. Why would his eyes wander towards underage ladies?

One day, Amy Fisher wanders into the Buttafuoco shop to get her car looked at. Amy is a hellraiser who wrecks her car at every opportunity. Amy asks Joey to cover for her in front of her dad whenever he wants to know what happened to the car. Joey complies and Amy responds by hitting on Joey whenever she gets the chance.

One weird note. The movie goes way out of its way to point out that we're not dealing with Amy Fisher. We're dealing with Aimee Fisher. What a clever way to avoid lawsuits!

And the scenes where Amy is hitting on Joey. Oh, man. Amy asks Joey for an auto-shop shirt and Joey refuses saying his won't fit her since he's extra large. Amy coos that "extra large is just right" and bites her lips. I hate it when metaphors go over my head.

So there's at least one kiss that Amy forces on Joey. Then Joey drives her home. What happened on that fateful drive? We'll never know.

Amy starts telling her friends that Joey is her boyfriend and that she'll move in with Buttafuoco when he dumps Mary Jo. In her spare time, Amy stalks Joey at home and at the auto shop. Finally, she hires some high school boy that she's boning to kill Mary Jo. The boy takes Amy up on the free sex, not so much on the housewife killing.

If you haven't figured it out yet, sex is meaningless to a sociopath like Amy Fisher. It's just a commodity to be bought and sold for money and favors. Oh, poor Joey! Why is this woman destroying his life!?

Spoiler alert: Amy Fisher shoots Mary Jo in the head.

Obscure reference alert: When Mary Jo is missing part of her head and is all bloody and hospitalized, she looks just like Zelda from Pet Semetary. She'll twist your back up!

So the police ask if Joey was sleeping with Amy and he denies all accusations. But the corrupt cops and the corrupt press accuse Joey of sleeping with her anyways. The stress gives Joey's dad a heart attack, so now Saint Joey is dealing with a sick father, a slowly recuperating wife, and false accusations plastered on the front page of the New York Post.

Amy pleads guilty to felonious assault in exchange for her testimony that she had an affair with Joey. Mary Jo pleads with the prosecutor to stop interfering with their life and her recovery. The prosecutor agrees and drops the charges. (Not real! Not real! Not real!) Amy is given the maximum sentence under the plea bargain. Mary Jo never regains hearing in one of her ears and the bullet is still in her head. It sets off metal detectors. The movie plays this for laughs.


Can you imagine a Lifetime movie where O.J. is the hero, Nicole is the villain, and O.J. only chops Nicole's head off in self-defense? The stakes were lower, but that's exactly what this movie is. And I think we'd all be interested in watching that hypothetical O.J. movie. So, obviously, you should be interested in watching this.


Amy Fisher is played by Alyssa Milano from Who's the Boss fame and countless covers of Maxim. This is just one example of Milano following in the footsteps of Drew Barrymore with negligible results. Fear was awesome though.


Hokey dialogue is hokey dialogue, but, Jesus Christ. The movie is set in a fantasy world where Joey Buttafuoco was falsely accused of a sex crime that he later plead guilty to. I still can't get over that. Cats and dogs living together! Mass hysteria!


If I ranked these movies on novelty factor, this would be a top-10. But, my scores are rigid, but fair. Well, not really. They're meaningless.

I really want to have a slumber party where I watch all three Amy Fisher movies. I think that would be pretty sweet.