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.


Sadako said...

Glad to see you updated. This blog is fun.

And wow. Joey Buttafuoco as the victim? Jesus, just when I thought I'd seen it all.

I remember there was some SNL spoof of all the Amy Fisher/Joey Buttafuoco made for TV movies. Heh.

michelle said...

I think Joey was "the victim" in this version because he was the one that sold his "story" for this movie... so its his POV...

here should be at least one other, though there may be 2... i think each major network had a Long Island Lolita movie of the week.. way back when ... god i am getting old.

SikeChick said...

I remember when all three networks aired movies about the case on the same night! Eek! Decisions, decisions. I chose the ABC/Drew Barrymore version (which was Amy's version of events), but I saw this one (originally aired on CBS) years later on Lifetime. I laughed my ass off all the way through. The dialogue was awful and the acting was beyond subpar. I remember a specific scene of Amy in her atrocious Long Island accent saying to Joey, "I want youhr shuurt all ovah mmmy booody". He's all, "Amy, I'm a grown man. You're just a young girl" but in this tone like it's perfectly reasonable that a 16-year-old girl would want to sleep with him. Man, I still despise Joey Buttafuoco.

The thing most off-putting about it though, is that Lifetime (TELEVISION FOR WOMEN) continues to air this film now and then, even after Joey has admitted to sleeping with an underage girl. Even if he hadn't done so, the man has been nothing but a sleazebag since everything went down, so this flick with its "Joey the Victim" angle and Alyssa "Under Contract to Maxim" Milano seems more suited for Spike TV than a network aimed geared towards ladies.

SDM said...

i am totes coming to that slumber party.

Daniel said...

I say you make that hypothetical O.J. Simpson movie happen. Just start updating this blog more and sell tons of ads to finance it.

Also, sweet Pete Venkman reference. I wonder what makes him tick. I wonder if he'd be interested in knowing what makes me tick.

EdTheRed said...

@Sadako: that SNL skit was awesomeness - the best was the BET version, with Tim Meadows as Joey Buttafucco: "Damn! You makin' my I-talian blood boil!"

Erin said...

I am anxiously awaiting your review of "The Secret," starring David Duchovy and airing sometime last month, maybe? Hint of incest + soul entering body + hallucinating on Special K + Duchovny = magic that must be shared.

Jannie aka Girl talk read said...

I would also totes go to that slumber party and I am also so glad you updated this blog is superb! And yes I remember years ago when all three movies were on and I totes saw the Drew Barrymore one that one is so the best- I just saw this crappy one last week. Sucks ass and yeah the acting is horrid!

meg4fancast said...

haha love it! that's a classic. Fancast actually has lots of Lifetime movies that you can even embed into your site. Lifetime on Fancast

Anonymous said...

Agreed to Erin's comment -- you MUST DO "The Secret"!

One of the better Lifetime-y Lifetime movies I've seen in a while.

secure tabs said...

I'd like to watch Casualties of Live because I've heard that it's so good and according to you this is something I should watch, I want to watch it with my girlfriend.

Blogger said...

Did you know you can shorten your links with Shortest and make money from every click on your shortened links.