Tag: Alyvia Alyn Lind

A Deadly Adoption

Although the circumstances are quite rare, every once in awhile I review a made for TV movie. The last few I did include Mr. Hockey: The Gordie Howe Story and Liz & Dick. The former I did as an accident, as I actually thought it was a documentary going into it. The latter I did only because it stared Lindsay Lohan as Liz Taylor, which just sounded hilariously bad so I had to give it a gander.

I generally avoid them if possible, because one of the best insults I can give a poor quality movie is comparing it to a made for TV movie. Their budget is lower, they usually have a shorter production window, and the tend to feature overacting and bad editing. After all, if it is on TV, you can’t show or say a lot of things to keep the rating down. If you wanted to be even more insulting you would refer to something as worse than a Lifetime TV movie, often considered to be bottom of the barrel, along with Hallmark films.

So why am I knowingly reviewing A Deadly Adoption, a few days after airing for the first time on Lifetime?

Well, that is because they are adding all the bells and whistles for this movie! They are celebrating 20 years of Lifetime movies, of overly sappy movies about women getting hurt, by making a parody film of their own films. It takes a lot of gumption to see you are a laughing stock and decide to run with it.

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Speaking of gumption: facial hair.

Life is wonderful for the Benson clan. Robert (Will Ferrell) is a successful author and kicking butt, Sarah (Kristen Wiig) is pregnant and going to start selling organic vegetables to other cool kids, and their daughter Sully (Alyvia Alyn Lind) is well, a child. Everything is like a 1950’s white American suburb home, until Sarah falls off the dock and starts to drown in the water. Sure, her heroic husband saves her, but they lose something else in the process. The pregnancy is terminated. Oh noes!

Now, five years later, things are different. Robert still writes, but he is afraid of boats and leaving home. Sarah has her successful shop, but is sad that her husband won’t get over it. And Sully is older, but still a little girl and who cares. But they decide they should adopt a child, that might help everything! After a lot of searching, they find Bridget (Jessica Lowndes), who is pregnant and looking for a kind family to take in her child. However, she is living in a shelter and doesn’t have a lot of money. So they decide to bring her in until the baby comes out letting her stay in the guest room.

Everyone is happy! Unless. Of course. Bridget is not the nice girl she appears to be.

Also with some dudes, Jake Weary and Bryan Safi. They are not pregnant nor are they adopting.

Now where they pregnant and adopting, which is a rare but probably real category of people.

If there is anything the last 15 years of terrible movies have taught us, it is that the parody film is a hard movie to get right. It is very easy to make a movie full of references to popular culture while none of it is remotely funny. You know those films, so I won’t talk about them. But then there are very good unique parodies that are also celebrating the genre they are mimicking, so you can tell there is real heart behind the content.

A Deadly Adoption ends up being a mix of both. No, it is not full of pop culture references, thankfully. But it also doesn’t go to the extremes necessary to drive its point home. It is definitely aware of itself, and things are over acted with scenes overly dramatic. But it still lacks a huge amount of humor, despite its attempts. Outside of the intro and the last ten minutes, most of the film dragged on. Because it is a parody, it can be hard to differentiate between what is bad and what is supposed to be bad, to be funny. For the most part, the jokes just didn’t land.

Again, I will note the beginning and ending were fantastic though. They just didn’t know how to make the middle live up to its ends. The film would have been funnier if it was more outwardly aware of itself, instead of giving for all intents and purposes, an actual lifetime movie.

2 out of 4.


I can say for certain that I wasn’t looking forward to seeing Blended. It looked like feel good trash. This is like the fifth movie in a row where Adam Sandler is playing a father like figure, and the third time he has had Drew Barrymore as the love interest.

It kind of just felt like a money grab from the start, where the jokes are mostly just Africa jokes with a shitty plot behind it.

But yet at the same time, something compelled me to watch this movie as soon as I could.

Basic plot time! Jim (Sandler) and Lauren (Barrymore) are on a blind date. Lauren is recently divorced due to her husband cheating on her (Joel McHale). Jim unfortunately is recently widowed. But also, Jim seems to be a dick, taking his date to Hooters and stuff. Both are awkward. It is a bad blind date, they don’t want to see each other again.

Until they do. A lot. Mostly on accident. They are very similar. And due to strange circumstances, they are both able to take their families on a vacation to Africa! But they are also sharing a romantic getaway package. One meant for families made up of step-children/parents, half-whatevers. You know. Blended shit.

So now they are on a zany adventure, both in each others lives, with each others kids, and hey, maybe they will learn to love and trust again too?

Jim has three daughters (Belle Thorne, Emma Fuhrmann, Alyvia Alyn Lind) and Lauren has two sons (Braxton Beckham, Kyle Red Silverstein).

Who else do we got? Well, we got Shaquille O’Neal as a best friend and Wendi McLendon-Covey as a different best friend. Kevin Nealon is a guy on the trip, with his son Zak Henri who becomes a love interest to the older girl.

And last but not least, Abdoulaye NGom as the vacation host, and Terry Crews as a lead singer of an African A Capella group to serenade us the whole movie. Also, countless other guest stars, some from most of Adam’s movies and some that were only in one before.

Basically, here is most of the cast outside of a couple kids and best friends.

Sandler is such a jerk. He can do pointless ass movies involving as many cheap celebrity cameos as possible now, or a movie that actually has some heart behind it. I blame the director. The director did Click, The Waterboy, and The Wedding Singer before this. He knows how to make a decent Adam Sandler movie. Although this one didn’t have me cry like that sneaky movie Click, it did have a lot of touching moments behind it. All the asshole-ish behavior on both sides seem to get explained away with great excuses and reasons, and you can’t help but feel sorry for both sides.

But that is the surprise drama element of the movie! You don’t want that, you want the comedy promised to you in the trailers! Well, here are actually a decent number of laughs. I am a bit disappointed in how much of the funnier moments in the movie ended up in the trailers. Mostly since a lot of them were based on a surprise/sudden action. But thankfully the film had a few more surprises up its sleeve.

Funniest movie ever? No. Great drama/comedy? Debatable. Definitely at least decent. Crews was really awesome in his role, dude always gives it the 100%.

I am mostly thrilled this movie actually had a plot and a jokes derived from the plot and characters, and not just 50 sight gags with African related scenery. They have some, but a lot more is available than the “Random jokes” that I was afraid the whole movie would end up being.

Is it better than the last two collaborations between the two? Arguably not, but eh, it was still a pretty good experience on its own.

3 out of 4.