Sunday, August 22, 2010

My Neighbor's Keeper: BABY FEVER

I think My Neighbor's Keeper is the first full Lifetime movie I've ever seen, except for that time I was in some pizza place in northern Maine and that movie where a teenage Jenny Lewis gets raped was playing on the TV at the bar. I have never seen so many commercials for birth control and cat food.

Here is the trailer, which shows pretty much every interesting thing that happens in the movie:

Laura Harring stars as Kate, a baby-obsessed woman who loves wearing turtlenecks and holding other people's children while smiling beatifically and staring into the middle distance. The children she covets most are those of her best friend and next-door neighbor, Ann. Ann has a little girl named Ellie and a baby boy named Logan, and she loves complaining about the dumb shit her husband, Mike, buys. Mike works all the time so he can buy dumb shit like secret $3200 golf clubs that aren't really a secret because Ann is a woman with a woman's intuition, and because Mike stores his secret golf clubs in the garage.

Anyway, after a fun day at the lake, Ann, Mike, Kate, and Kate's husband Tim, go back to what we are told is Seattle, except it never rains and it looks exactly like Cleveland. Kate tries to seduce Tim with the least sexy line ever: "my temp was up this morning." Nothing like reminding your partner that you only want him for his sperm to get him in the mood. Tim's like, "I thought the doctor told you that your uterus was a lost cause" and Kate's all, "SHUT UP I HAVE BABY FEVER IMPREGNATE ME NOW" so Tim says, "if I have to." I think he's supposed to be joking, but he sounds sadly resigned to another boring round of sex for procreation with his baby-crazed wife.

The next morning, Kate goes to see her exasperated OB/GYN, who essentially tells her to get a new doctor because she's sick of performing tests on her barren womb. Kate refuses to listen to Dr. Badnews, and talks to Ann, who advises her to "keep Tim on the job." According to this movie, sex is the least fun thing ever. All that matters is BABIES, and if you can't have them, you are a failure as a woman and your life has no meaning.

All of a sudden, it's Halloween, and Mike is working late so that he can buy more dumb shit. He calls Kate to tell her that Ann seems to have left the phone off the hook, and asks her to go next door and tell his idiot wife to hang up the phone.

Cut to Kate running back into her house, screaming and crying and pointing in the general direction of Ann's house. Tim asks her what's wrong, and she just screams and cries and points some more, so he goes next door to find Ann dead of the world's least gory stabbing. I have had nosebleeds scarier than this murder.

Even though the slightly bloodied knife used to murder Ann is right next to her barely butchered corpse, it takes Detective Billings and his silent partner the whole damn movie to find the killer, even though we all know it's Mike. Their excuse? "There's a lot of murders in this town." Comforting.

At the funeral, Mike asks Tim if he wants to buy a boat. Seriously. AT HIS WIFE'S FUNERAL, HE TRIES TO GET HIS FRIEND TO BUY A BOAT WITH HIM."I wanna get a sailboat," says Mike. "It could be fun." Mike sucks at pretending he didn't kill his wife.

Immediately after the funeral, Kate starts freaking out over who's going to take care of Logan and Ellie. Tim mentions that they still have a father, but Kate knows better. A man can't take care of two kids by himself! That's ridiculous! And what if something happens to Mike? What then, huh Tim? Won't somebody please think of the children?

Kate tries to help by telling the detectives that she saw some guy in a Frankenstein mask knock on Ann's door just before she got the phone call from Mike. They find a bloody Frankenstein mask in a dumpster halfway between Mike's office and his house, and he is arrested for murder, but is instantly out on bail. Kate testifies at some kind of murder mediation hearing as a character witness, and she tells everyone how awesome Mike is and how he would never have an affair or kill anybody. In the car on the way home, Tim tells her that Mike actually did cheat on Ann, but it was just one time, so Mike's totally not a murderer.

Kate gets all pissy and goes to Mike's house to yell at him for cheating on Ann, because berating a grieving man is the right thing to do. Mike says he's sorry for cheating on Ann, but Kate knows he's not a killer, right?

"Are you?" she asks.

"Nuh uh, you are," Mike says. "Just kidding. Now you know how it feels." And Kate learns a valuable lesson about accusing her friends of murder. Awww.

The kids are at Tim and Kate's house all the time now, and Kate even tells a stranger at a restaurant that the kids are hers. I think Kate is supposed to be the protagonist, but she totally creeps me out. Her husband warns her not to get too attached, and she says, "I'm sorry the death of our friend is inconveniencing you." She shows up at Tim's law office to ask about becoming Ellie and Logan's legal guardians if "something were to happen to Mike," which is a phrase she uses wayyy too much. I don't understand why she felt the need to ask Tim this question at work instead of waiting until he got home. Tim wants to know if he has any say in the matter, and Kate is disgusted by her insensitive jerk of a husband.

Then, some dude that we never even see confesses to the stabbing! Hooray! Mike throws himself a "my wife's murderer was caught" party, and Tim apologizes to Kate for being a reasonable person.

The neighbors decide to go to the lake again, but Tim has to do lawyery stuff, so Kate goes up with Mike and the kids. She looks through an old photo album and sees a picture of Mike with the Frankenstein mask. This is somehow more damning evidence than the bloody-fingerprint-covered knife left at the crime scene. Kate does the exact opposite of what any normal person would do: instead of taking the photos and putting them in the pocket of her bathrobe and remaining calm until she is no longer alone with a murderer, she hides the photo album under Ellie's bed and then calls Tim to tell him that Mike's a killer. Of course, Mike comes in the room while she's on the phone so she can't tell Tim anything, and then Ellie wakes up and brings out the photo album and asks Kate why it was under her bed. Good job, Ellie. New Mommy is going to get killed because of you.

After explaining why he stabbed his wife, because murderers love nothing more than describing their crimes to people they are about to kill, Mike drowns Kate. We know she's really dead because she never comes up for air, and we see Mike standing in the lake holding her bathrobe.

Tim finally shows up at the lake. "Where's Kate?" he asks.

"I think she went for a swim," says Mike.

Then the cops show up with a soaking wet Kate and arrest Mike. Tim and Kate get to keep the kids, and everyone lives happily ever after, except Ann.


This was a very long 89 minutes. The movie is shot in dark, muddy tones, and the acting was bad in a non-hilarious way. I did like when we get to see Tim's law degree and it says "Tim" not "Timothy," though.


I guess Laura Harring was in Mulholland Drive, but I haven't seen it even though people keep telling me to watch it. Maybe this should be a ten, or a two; I seriously have no idea. I am embarrassed. But I figure if Brittany Murphy only got a four, I can't go higher than that.


Let's see: a point for baby fever, a point for our first glimpse of the husbands being a shot of them eating snacks and watching sports instead of cooking dinner, a point for best girlfriends who are always together, a point for murder, a point for Kate's husband apologizing for hurting her feelings, a point for a woman solving a crime that the police couldn't, a point for woman's intuition.


I can't believe I watched this twice.


Kim said...

Okay, this is off-topic, but LMN is showing a TON of amazingly awful movies this week, including "Odd Girl Out," "The Party Never Stops" (until you die of alcohol poisoning...), "Dying to Belong", and "Unstable." It's like Christmas in August! Plus, on Saturday, Lifetime is showing "The Fab Five," "Accused at 16," and "She's Too Young" (for syphilis. Except she's not). Crack open a box of wine and enjoy! :)

Hysterical Woman said...

I thought it would turn out that Kate is the killer. But, Lifetime.

Kate said...

Oh man, I wish I had cable. I caught part of "She's Too Young" at my parents' house a while back and it was amazing!

Kim said...

Such a bummer! "She's Too Young" has one of my favorite lines of dialogue. The skeezy guy who gives everyone syphilis goes to the school nurse to get his vaccination and says, "You better stick 'em all. Because I sure did." And then his friends give him high fives the nurse is PWN3D!1!!!1

Kate said...

Oh wow. Now I want to see it even more. That's so grody.

Rusty said...

I am DVRing it

asweetdisorder said...

ugh I am so jealous

Anonymous said...

Man, thanks. Got hooked into watching this, but did not want to waste my time until the end to find out who did it!

Traciy Curry-Reyes said...

That was one of my favorite movies. That movie was actually based on a real case. The true story was more frightening than the movie.

Anonymous said...

You are hilarious!! I love this review.

joyce wilson said...

Worst review ever. I had to stop reading it after a few paragraphs...UGH

Cherrie said...

I loved this review! So many things you said were spot on. I mean, you really can't take most lifetime movies seriously anyway so how can you write a serious review about one? I loved this part:

"Mike throws himself a 'my wife's murderer was caught' party, and Tim apologizes to Kate for being a reasonable person."

Hilarious, thanks for the laugh!

Anonymous said...

Soooo I was way off because I totally thought creepy Kate was the murderer. I missed the ending so your review totally saved me from the toture of watching the replay! Btw what is up with kates weird accent?

Anonymous said...

Glad for this review. Now, I can go to bed and not watch anymore !! ( I didn't think it was Mike)

Anonymous said...

I'm watching this right now. Your review had me cracking up!

Anonymous said...

Me too

Anonymous said...

Awesome movie!

Anonymous said...

LMN sucks because it is way too predictable.

Anonymous said...

Which is it? According to this article, Kate died but then lived. Could someone make that clearer. She said we know she is dead because she did not com up for air. Then she said Tim AND KATE got to keep the kids. This girl needs to make up her mind. I think she's sexist too. Just because a father has two kids without a mother does not mean he can not take care of them.

Anonymous said...

I definitely thought so with her creepy ass smile....

Anonymous said...

He can't take care of them if he's unfit and could care less about them. Duh! They said he's always working, obviously no time for kids especially because one of them isn't even a year old yet.

Anonymous said...

I agree, we are watching this movie now! Your review is brilliant.

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prickly said...

I know it's years later, but I am currently watching this movie, and wanted to know whodunnit which is why I reached this review. And what a review it is! Sheer comedy genius! Thanks so much.

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