A Deadly Adoption: Movie Man Jackson

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You know the dangers of diabetic ketoacidosis!

That poster is one of the greatest things I have ever seen. In A Deadly Adoption, successful author Robert Benson (Will Ferrell), and local business owner spouse Sarah Benson (Kristen Wiig) are trying to find solace years after a tragedy. This tragedy has caused a once jovial and lighthearted Robert to become more distant in the relationship.

Both agree, however, that the best remedy would be to add another child to the family. Unfortunately, Sarah cannot conceive after her first daughter Sully (Alyvia Alyn Lind), and as such, an outside party must be brought in. Enter Bridgette (Jessica Lowndes), a six-month pregnant young woman living in an unstable situation. Feeling sorry for her, the couple invites her into their home to stay with them during the final trimester. She appears to be the perfect carrier for their new addition, but she harbors an unbelievable dark secret that will put everyone in danger.

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So, I guess this is why was exposed to so many Lifetime movies growing up. Thanks for Stalking Laura Mom, that will always have a place in my heart if you’re reading this. Lifetime movies are just different than other movies, but they aren’t that different among themselves. Generally, their plots consists of some life-changing moment/event where someone or something has to readjust to things and/or deal with a situation that gets worse and worse while fighting for their name and/or family. Sometimes they are “true stories. “Almost all of them have some type of title that is a blunt descriptor of what the movie will entail, such as Cyberstalker and Intimate Stranger. A Deadly Adoption is really no different, a Lifetime movie through and through.

What does happen to be different is the lead talent that appears here. The buzz that this film has garnered is easily attributed to Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig appearing in it. While many people have used satire and spoof to describe A Deadly Adoption, parody feels more fitting. Wiig and Ferrell choose not to display the comedic stylings that most know them for, and that may disappoint viewers to decide to take a stab at this.

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The real joke present is the idea that there really isn’t one. Yes, there are one or two times, mainly in the final act, where the comedy is less straight-laced, but even that is somewhat subtle. Director Rachel Goldenberg, Ferrell, and Wiig all choose to simply do what has been done before, without shattering the fourth wall. All are great, but Ferrell especially nails it. He still has this look about him where it makes it almost impossible not to crack up even while doing the most mundane of tasks, all while wearing a terrible pasty beard. And it is absolutely glorious.

Perhaps the only flaw that exists would be that to get the full effect, one has to be somewhat familiar of Lifetime and many of its film tropes. Not that it still cannot be entertaining, but this is clearly made for viewers who are aware of the network’s brand. The execution is so deftly handled that Lifetime viewers who have never heard of Wiig and Farrell will just see this as the standard movie of the week, and others who have heard of the famous leads but unaware of Lifetime’s style may get bored. From the overly melodramatic score, to the way the camera lingers and positions itself on subjects and characters, and the cliched ending, this is a bad movie. But it is intentional, without being that fact over the head.

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As bizarre and unlikely it is to say of a Lifetime production, A Deadly Adoption is one of more memorable films yours truly has seen in a while, and I can only imagine how it would have been had it been released as intended with no fanfare. This will not be for everyone, but for anyone who has seen their share of the network’s movies or looking for a muted parody, what better way to honor the 25th anniversary of Lifetime movies by giving this a watch?

Grade: A-

Photo credits go to movieweb.com, blogs.wsj.com, usmagazine.com, and feedpile.net.

Follow the Movie Man @MovieManJackson

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6 thoughts on “A Deadly Adoption: Movie Man Jackson

  1. Well this sounds and looks…….interesting. haha! I don’t have cable but when I get it back again maybe I’ll be lucky enough to catch this on Lifetime. That poster is definitely attention-grabbing dude

    • Oh yeah, don’t fret that you can’t catch this now. I have a feeling that this will make its way to Netflix and home media soon.

      I’m eager to see more people’s take on this one. I really enjoyed it a ton for what it does, and this is easily the hardest I’ve laughed at anything this year.

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