The Lifetime Channel continues its streak of making movies about real life crime stories with Fatal Honeymoon. This is the story of the couple who went to Australia back in 2003 on their honeymoon and went scuba diving. The husband claimed that his wife panicked underwater and knocked off his mask and breathing apparatus. While he climbed to the surface she drowned. What really happened is anyone's guess but when you watch this movie you get a clear idea of what the writers of this movie thought.
Just like Natalee Holloway, whose story was also a Lifetime movie, Tina Thomas (Amber Clayton) was an Alabama girl. She came from a prominent family and was the apple of her daddy's eye. Tommy Thomas (Harvey Keitel) was not happy when his daughter Tina got involved with Gabe Watson (Billy Miller). There was just something not quite right about him, but Tina loved him so Tommy could only agree to their wedding and wish the couple well.
Still it came as no surprise to him when he received a phone call from Gabe's father with the news that Tina had drowned while the couple were scuba diving in Australia while on their honeymoon. From that point on Tommy was convinced that Gabe had killed his daughter and he swore to see that her death was avenged by having Gabe convicted of murder.
The participation of Keitel is reason enough to watch this movie. This actor is so talented that he can make any role believable, and that is what he does with his performance as Tommy Thomas. He is fascinating to watch on screen as he builds the character layer by layer. To most actors Thomas would just be a grieving father but Keitel makes him that and more. He gives him nuances that show how deep the man's pain runs.
Usually Keitel blows any actor who plays opposite him off the screen but in this movie Miller matches him move for move and depth for depth. He is perfectly cast as the slightly oily young man who oozes evil. From his portrayal you have no doubt as to what happened in the water with Tina. His eyes are dead cold even when his actions are warm. This could be a career-making role for Miller if enough people watch the movie.
Since the story is true, it is fascinating to see how real life played out. The ending may not be what we wished for but it is how it happened. Sticking to the facts is one thing Lifetime always does, even if they provide implications of guilt or innocence.
Fatal Honeymoon is a movie worth seeing because of the story and also for Keitel's performance. Still the main reason to watch is to see Billy Miller. He is an amazing actor and his performance will stay with you long after the movie has ended.
Fatal Honeymoon airs on Lifetime, Saturday, August 25 at 8 p.m.
Jackie K Cooper