I'm sad to say that having a blog where I make fun of Lifetime movies did not qualify me for a press pass to the Liz & Dick critics' screening. With ads on buses and a star big enough that people know her rehab history, Liz & Dick might be one of the most hotly anticipated Lifetime movies since Queen Latifah's Black Steel Magnolias. But since I've watched over 1,200 Lifetime movies (approximate guess), I pretty much know what to expect during its Sunday (November 25) premiere. If you're a newbie to the "Based on a True Story" TV movie genre, here are five things that I predict will happen:
1) What's Your Last Name Again?
If you're like me, you like to use badly written, true-life teledramas as an excuse to go on Wikipedia and learn what internet concensus has to say about the famous people you're watching B-list actors portray on screen. And how are you going to look up these people if the characters in the movie don't repeat their first and last names at least twice? In the case of Creed from The Office, you're going to have every person who meets him say "Nice to meet you, Mr. Zanuck," before the first three or four times he appears on screen, I'm going to be laughing my ass off. Except a lot of Lindsay Lohan doing her best flirty face while saying, "Why hello, Richard Burton" and "This is my husband, Mr. Eddie Fisher."
2) There's No Such Thing as a Happy Marriage
In Lifetime movies, even if he has a bit of a temper, a guy doesn't turn into a true asshole until after he gets married. Whether it's John Stamos shoving a lamp in his wife's face, or Jerri Blank's secret love Laird taking up a casual cocaine habit on your Deadly Honeymoon, the sudden turning point from "really nice guy with a bit of an anger problem" to "possibly abusive, probably cheating asshole" is the day you tie the knot. Expect Dick to do something super-dicky on the night on their wedding or shortly thereafter.
3) PG Sex for Liz and Dick
Any Lifetime movie worth its salt has a lot of sex in it -- but there's a catch. Just about all Lifetime movies, including Liz & Dick, are rated TV-PG. This fucking movie is showing at 9pm on a holiday weekend, God damn it! This leaves Lifetime with three options: a) Intense making out that fades to black b) Under-the-covers sex with close-ups of Lindsay Lohan making relatively tame orgasm faces, and c) Lindsay-on-top humping that shows her naked back only. It's hard to predict which of these they'll go with (maybe all three?), but if I had to pick one, I'd say they'll probably go with option c, because we all want to see Liz and Dick gettin' it on, let's face it. Let's hope they do it right like they did with Mary Kay Letroneu chair-humping Villi, her underage student, in All-American Girl: The Mary Kay Letourneau Story. (Ew, did I go too far? Well, I didn't go any farther than Mario Lopez.)
4) Vase Throwing. Lots of Vase Throwing.
OK, I'll admit, I saw a vase being thrown around in the official trailer. But when there's a crazy lady in a Lifetime movie, you know a vase is gonna get thrown. A table may also get cleared, and china will probably get broken. The only real question here is, will Lindsay do it better the current holder of the "Best Vase Thrower of all Time" title, Meredith Baxter in A Woman Scorned: The Betty Broderick Story? Probably not, but I'm looking forward to watching her try.
5) It's Not Going to Be as Good as You Think
If you haven't seen very many other Lifetime movies, I have to warn you to not expect too much. I hate to break it to you, but this movie isn't going to be as good as Drew Peterson: Untouchable. That dude killed two wives! Liz was just a crazy actress who married a bunch of dudes. The Lifetime movie about JK Rowling's life was unwatchable it was so boring, and the only thing entertaining about the William & Kate movie was that it was clearly filmed in the U.S., and used the word "bollocks" a lot. Lifetime even managed to suck all the life out of the Craigslist Killer movie -- a retelling so dull even Billy Baldwin can't make it interesting. Luckily, with all the ads they only have an hour and a half to fill. I think with Lindsay as Liz it's bound to be entertaining, but it probably won't be half as good as any ficticious Lifetime movie that contains murder, polygamy or a pastor's wife.