• Sun, Sep 16 2012

Lifetime Dabbles In Irony With Virtual Lies

This week’s Saturday night Lifetime movie, Virtual Lies, has a plot built around irony. It’s appropriate, because I’ve been watching Lifetime ironically for years. Lifetime‘s choice to utilize irony, mixed with my ironic viewing of their irony, creates a kind of super irony, don’t you think? Basically, Alanis Morissette might as well have written this movie.

Virtual Lies outlines how a husband’s online indiscretions lead to horrifying consequences. Will (Marc Menard) breaks off an online relationship with a young woman he’s never met. His “pen pal” Allison (Ali Liebert), who, unbeknownst to him, is the receptionist at his son’s doctor’s office, sets out to destroy his wife Jamie’s (Christina Cox) life.

You might be thinking, “Where’s the irony in this movie?” That comes once you learn two things. First, Allison has a lot of anger management issues. Second, Jamie just happens to teach anger management to teens at a local youth center. Allison’s enemy might be someone who could help her control her rage. Isn’t it ironic? Don’t you think?

And Allison has a lot of rage. She lures Jamie to the empty youth center at night under false pretenses, where a creepy man nearly assaults her. Luckily, Jamie has amazing fighting skills and is able to escape.

That doesn’t stop Allison, though. She tries to destroy Jamie’s career by spreading a horribly photoshopped video of Jamie dancing in a skimpy outfit, starting a rumor that Jamie had an affair with a teenager, and sending a fake letter of resignation to Jamie’s place of work.

That’s not the worst of it. Allison volunteers to babysit Jamie’s asthmatic son, then proceeds to not only give the kid orange juice before bed (Cavities! Acid erosion!) but also spike the drink to set off an attack. Allison eventually beats a witness to her stalking with a crowbar, causing a dummy in a cardigan the innocent woman’s body to tumble down a ravine.

The movie wouldn’t be complete without Allison knocking Will out, tying him to an antique wheelchair and engaging in a Psycho-esque struggle on the staircase with Jamie.

During Allison’s fits of anger, I couldn’t help but wonder, in Carrie Bradshaw fashion, whether all this could have been prevented if, instead of the unhelpful therapist Allison sees, Jamie had counseled Allison. In fact, even after she and her husband defeat Allison, Jamie expresses concern for the young woman’s condition: “It’s kind of heartbreaking.”

The irony doesn’t stop there, though. Jamie’s position as an anger management counselor is also important to consider in relation to her own responses to Allison’s attacks. One of the kids she counsels approaches her after another rumor gets out. He asks if it makes her mad when people are mean to her, comparing her situation to his own. By the end of the film, Jamie tells the kids that she relates to their anger. The anger management counselor can’t manage her own anger the way she tells her kids to. Isn’t it ironic? Don’t you think?

I’ll leave you with what I think is the most priceless moment from this week’s movie. When Allison, in the midst of a violent fight with Jamie, asks her why she couldn’t let go of Will, Jamie replies, “Because he’s my husband, you crazy bitch!” I’ve suggested a few new slogans for Lifetime before, but so far none have been as perfect as this quote. Just imagine Don Draper pitching it dramatically in a meeting. Good, right?

(Photo: TV Equals)

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  • who knows

    This movie is missing a WHOLE bunch of chunks. what about the nurse that got killed? nobody reported her missing. I mean this movie was VERY poorly made. its an absolute -10. an how about how the boy got randomly sick?like the boy didnt say how the babysitter gave him juice?? or the boy didnt end up at the hospital..? i mean SOOOO much is missing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chris.balducci.10 Chris Balducci

    One thing I find funny about these movies is the little U.S. flags planted all around the set when a scene is being filmed at the police or sheriff department. I guess that’s supposed to make you forget the movie is filmed in Canada and most of the actors and actresses use loooong vowels (“has he been hanging aboat the hoase”)?

  • Daisy NYC

    Personally, I found this movie, along with a similar predecessor Fatal Attraction,
    really annoying. Time after time the ‘other woman’ is presented as a predatory
    psycho. But what about the husbands who engage in this kind of online rubbish?
    They lie about their feelings (and in this case marital status as well), and
    play with the hearts and minds of hopeful single women.
    I honestly think spouses who do this deserve all the potential consequences of
    their immature inability to handle the reality of adult relating, and what
    marriage and monogamy actually means. This Allison, having been led on and
    duped into believing this online thing was going to go somewhere (many do in
    this day and age), once the cheating husband decided he had enough/was
    bored/had been found out (delete as appropriate) she was expected to just walk
    away, accept that she was almost literally this emotionally immature man’s
    living ‘mistake’ and move on like nothing had happened? He had someone to go
    home to and cuddle with when his little game was over, but she had nobody -
    just an empty apartment and her loneliness. For a recipient who might be
    exceptionally lonely, have taken many knocks in their life or who might have
    latent abandonment issues, these self-centred, emotionally immature married men
    and women are playing a dangerous game. And with this in mind, I ask – who is
    really the bad guy here? If you’re going to enter marriage guys and gals,
    remember your vows and do right by your spouse before bringing an innocent (and
    lonely) third party into it. Marriage may be hard, but place fidelity and
    communication, and the feelings of your spouse at the top of your agenda, and
    you will avoid a whole world of problems!