Saturday, June 27, 2015

[Review] A Deadly Adoption (TV Movie)

What? Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig starring in a Lifetime movie? Is it real? A joke? A parody? Oh it's real, and it might be a joke, but it isn't a super funny one.

Robert (Ferrell) is an alcoholic author, and his wife Sarah (Wiig) is an organic foods vendor, and they're expecting their 2nd child. During a party, Sarah falls off a dock and gets injured, and there are some exaggerated sound effects that make you not sure if you should laugh or not (for the record, I laughed). Later at the hospital, Sarah and Robert learn that she's lost the baby, and they indulge in some bad crying. When the scene cuts, you can imagine them being like, "Are we really doing this right now?" Anyway, they eventually engage in the process of adopting a new child from a young pregnant woman named Bridgette that is planning to give up her baby. Robert and Sarah invite her to live with them until the baby is born, and things get expectedly fishy.

Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig mostly play it serious, and not even in a deadpan or sarcastic manner. So there aren't many hints of self-reflexive comedy or solid parody, and the initial novelty of it all fades pretty quickly. What we have here is basically what it is: Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig in a Lifetime move--almost as if they did it just so they could say they did. And to their credit, they totally nail the Lifetime performance style, which is a bit funny in itself.

The immediately terrible dialogue warrants some chuckles. But aside from a couple of amusing moments and awkward subtext, it's just too bland and monotone to become a "so bad it's good" cult classic. There's a blatant checklist of cliches, but instead of functioning as clever winks, it's just kind of like--yep here it comes. Even though the story gets ridiculous (like most Lifetime movies), you sort of wish it'd launch into straight-up absurdity and corniness.

A Deadly Adoption can't really be a cult classic if you never want to watch it again.


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