What do you call it when something’s the opposite of fun? Oh right, you call it Lifetime movie The Trials of Cate McCall. It premiered last night, and I’d describe it as depressing, boring, tedious, and various synonyms for those words. If you saw the cast list (Kate Beckinsale, James Cromwell, Nick Nolte, Isaiah Washington), you might think it would be good. But alas, a good cast does not a good movie make. Apparently it was a flop in Hungary, couldn’t even get shown in American theaters, skipped over going to DVD, and went straight to Lifetime.
If you watched it, I’m sorry. If you didn’t watch it, I won’t bore you (and myself) by recapping the entire plot. Rather, I’ll give you a brief summary and then tell you the only ten moments in the entire film that I found entertaining. All you need to know is that Cate McCall (Kate Beckinsale, who apparently only does American accents now) is a recovering alcoholic lawyer who was put on probation and lost custody of her daughter when she showed up to court drunk. Now she’s trying to prove herself by taking on the appeal of a young woman convicted of murder. Now let’s get into the (mildly) fun parts.
1. When I misheard Cate’s plea of “Will it get me my daughter back?” as “Will it get me my dog back?” and prayed to the TV gods that would be cleared up soon so I wouldn’t have to spend the whole movie thinking she lost custody of a dog. That was mostly entertaining in my own head.
2. When every use of the F word was replaced with “freak,” because this was intended as a gritty drama shown in theaters but ended up being shown on basic cable.
3. When Nick Nolte shows up looking like… well, Nick Nolte. There are some people who just should not wear ponytails, you know?
4. When it’s implied that Cate slept with the judge in her case (James Cromwell) when he was her law professor, and they have a moment in court. “You passed me,” she recalls. Excuse me while I bleghhh.
5. When Cate gets run off the road and crashes her car. I’m not usually entertained by car accidents, but in this case it was the first exciting thing to happen in this movie, so yay!
6. When Cate’s client was found innocent only halfway through the movie and I briefly lost my mind knowing there was still another hour left. That was super fun.
7. When Cate gets framed for drunk driving by one of the detectives her client accused of rape, and Cate says it’s “bullspit.” And then the detective repeats the word “bullspit.” Something tells me they really meant to say a different word…
8. When Cate goes over to her client’s house to retrieve a borrowed necklace and wears her hair down. This was only entertaining because her hair is so pretty and I want to touch it. This is also the scene where she realizes her client is actually guilty, but I’m too distracted by the pretty hair to care.
9. When Judge That’ll Do Pig invites Cate to have dinner with him at a fancy hotel and leaves a note for her saying to come up to his room. James Cromwell gives me the heebie-jeebies ever since American Horror Story, so the resulting discomfort was a nice change of pace from the crippling boredom.
10. When Cate pulls a switcheroo in court and proves her client — whom she’s supposedly defending again after the case was sent back to trial — is actually guilty, and the girl goes nuts and screams “I’ll slit your throat!” Just like she did to the girl she murdered. There are few things I love more in courtroom movies than when the murderer screams something that proves they’re guilty. Mostly because it reminds me of Legally Blonde, and I love Legally Blonde. This movie should have been more like Legally Blonde.
Bonus Entertaining Moment: When the movie was over and I didn’t have to watch it anymore. Thank goodness next week’s movie is called Death Clique.