Lifetime Movie Titles: The Ashley Garmany Interpretation
Who wouldn't watch something called "Sexual Assault, Lies and Hideous Rape"?
In college, I had more free time than I knew what to do with. Because of this, I was able to take up several hobbies, such as skeet shooting, model car making, bird watching, and napping. In fact, I'm pretty sure I napped through my entire sophomore year of college. Yet despite that, I still managed to pass all of my classes, tutor a 5th grader, and volunteer at an animal shelter. Cocaine is a hell of a drug. I also had a lot of time to watch television; specifically, Lifetime. To me, Lifetime is a lot like a car wreck: you know you shouldn't be looking at it and you'd never admit it to anyone, but you can't tear your eyes off it out of sheer morbid curiosity. Come to think of it, Lifetime is also a lot like Lindsay Lohan's career.
Where else but Lifetime are you going to get to see Kevin Arnold beating on DJ Tanner?I've seen so many of these movies, I've lost count. Some good. Some bad. Some I don't remember because I was still hungover from the night before. And over the years, I've begun analyzing the formula of a successful Lifetime Original Movie. There are several vital plot points necessary to keep an audience member such as myself captivated, and waiting during commercial break after commercial break, Designing Women ad after Designing Women ad: someone gets beat; someone gets sexually assaulted; someone has their brother's baby; Meredith Baxter makes an appearance; and what really draws me in, the title. Lifetime is nothing if not innovative in their titling of movies (I bet you read that as tit-ling instead of title-ing. It's okay, I did too). If English class taught me anything, it's the importance of a good title. It also taught me that "ballcock" is an actual word and not just a combination of nicknames of the male anatomy.
I enjoy a good Lifetime Movie title the way most people enjoy a fine wine. Even if the movie itself doesn't appeal to me, I will be forced to watch it based solely on the title alone. Allow me now to share with you a select few of my favorites so you too can appreciate the obvious hard work and determination that went into naming them.
Mother, May I Sleep With Danger?
Warning: This movie may not be suitable for fathers.If there's anything better than a Lifetime Movie, it's a Lifetime Movie starring Tori Spelling. Over the years, Tori has given us some delicious Lifetime-y classics, such as: A Friend to Die For, Deadly Pursuits, Awake to Danger, Hush and the always relevant Co-ed Call Girl. Not only was Co-ed Call Girl intriguing and informative, it also gave me the idea on how to pay for my senior year of college. But that's a story for another time.
Mother, May I Sleep With Danger? asks the question we're all scared to ask: how well do we really know our significant other? Maybe he has a rogue patch of hair on his body that we never knew about. Maybe his favorite hobby includes dissecting pickled pig embryos. Maybe he killed some guy, stole his identity, and planned to bring you to a secluded cabin in the woods where he could keep you for the rest of your days so he could have you all to himself. Lifetime isn't afraid to ask these questions and for that, I admire them. And I admire Tori Spelling, for that matter. Few actresses can successfully pull off a role that requires them to run through the woods in high-waisted 1995 Jordache Jeans and still be convincing in their character.
No One Would Tell
Warning: This movie may not be suitable for third dates.Although the title isn't as catchy as some of the others, this is by far one of the greatest Lifetime Movies EVER. First, look at the stars: Candace Cameron from Full House and Fred Savage from The Wonder Years. If they aren't the wet dream couple of every person who grew up in the early 90's, then I don't know who would be. They play a high school couple with a terrible secret, with all of the essential elements of an awesome movie. Booze? Check. Sex? Check. Jealousy? Check.
Where else but Lifetime are you going to get to see Kevin Arnold beating on DJ Tanner? Fred's character is an emotionally and physically abusive boyfriend who smacks Candace for wearing "sexy" clothes (keep in mind this movie was made in 1996, so "sexy" clothes includes a denim jacket and a skort). After ending things with him, he becomes enraged and murders her. From there, he goes to trial and his judge is, GET THIS, Sally Jessie Raphael. I know, right? I couldn't make this shit up if I tried. Pure Lifetime greatness. Seriously, I creamed in my pants just recapping the movie for you, it's THAT bad it's good.
Crimes of Silence: She Woke Up Pregnant
Warning: This movie may not be suitable for the Virgin Mary.Usually in a Lifetime Movie, there's an unexpected pregnancy. Whether it's a woman on the verge, an underaged girl on the cusp of womanhood, or a married housewife who one day wakes up with child, only to discover the father isn't her husband but her dentist. Such as in the Lifetime Original, Crimes of Silence: She Woke Up Pregnant.
When I first saw the title of this one, I thought to myself, Wait, someone made a movie of that night in college where I drank an entire bottle of vodka and woke up the next morning with no pants on and no recollection of what happened? I quickly realized that no, that wasn't the case. What I did take away from this movie, however, was the knowledge of what really goes on when the dentist uses laughing gas—and that the violated, dirty feeling I experience after having my cavities filled isn't in my imagination. If I'm going to be touched inappropriately, I'd like to at least remember it, you know? So the ultimate lesson I took away from this movie is to "stop going to the dentist, ‘cause he likes to feel up your cooter when you're unconscious and that sometimes leads to unexpected pregnancies and babies."
Lies My Mother Told Me
Warning: This movie may not be suitable for girls 15½-17.Again, not the catchiest of titles and yet I was immediately drawn to this one. It stars Hayden Panettiere (of TV's Heroes) and tells the story of a mother and daughter duo who travel across the country, conning men and taking their money. Yeah. I saw this movie already. It starred Jennifer Love Hewitt and it was called Heartbreakers. Maybe it's just me, but Jennifer Love is a lot more visually appealing to me than Hayden. Maybe it's because I've been watching her work a lot longer or maybe it's because she has giant hooters. Yeah, it's probably because she has giant hooters.
I thought this movie was going to cover all the lies mothers tell their daughters. You know, that one day you'll find a man who loves you for you. Or that beauty isn't everything. Or that women can make more money than men. Or that a woman can be president. Instead I got some sappy drama about the flat-chested girl from Remember the Titans crying about how her mom was using her to get what she wanted. Get used to it, Claire. That's called life.
Do You Know the Muffin Man?
Warning: This movie may not be suitable for fat women.When I saw this title, I instantly assumed the movie had something to do with a guy who enjoys a woman with a large bush. Imagine my surprise when I realized it was actually about sexual assaults at a pre-school camp. To say that I felt cheated is an understatement. I felt a lot like I did when I went to see the movie The Box. I thought I was going to see a feel-good movie about Cameron Diaz's vagina but it ended up being about an actual box. Imagine my disappointment. To this day, I still refuse to see any movie at a Showcase Cinema theater because the manager refused to give me a refund.
Listen, I'm not saying that little pre-school children being touched in their naughty places isn't entertaining, but when you go into a movie expecting a pubic hair storyline, there's going to be a certain level of dissatisfaction at finding it's actually a movie about molestation. Instead of spending two hours discovering the answer to the age-old question "to muff or not to muff?" I spent two hours watching children attempt to act. And if there's anything I dislike more than actually talking to and spending time with a child, it's being forced to see a child live out their parents' unfulfilled dreams of being famous. No, it's not cute seeing Little Johnny blatantly read off a cue card. Why do you think God invented midgets? So there would be people to play children in movies.
While most of these movies are years old, Lifetime still manages to come up with some classic movie titles year after year. For example, the yet-to-air Taken From Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story. Then there's Scattered Dreams: The Kathryn Messenger Story. And who could forget, Dangerous Evidence: The Lori Jackson Story. Cinematic gold, I tell you! I am so jealous of the person whose job it is to come up with this stuff. If this whole column-writing thing doesn't take off for me, I'm considering submitting my resume for Lifetime Movie Name Giver Person.