12 Reasons A Day Late And A Dollar Short Was The Worst Lifetime Movie I’ve Ever Watched

Lifetime movie A Day Late and a Dollar Short Whoopi Goldberg 2014

Guys, I finally discovered the worst Lifetime movie to ever play out in front of my eyeballs, and it’s called A Day Late and a Dollar Short. I’ll be honest and say that I went in not really looking forward to it, mostly because based on the promos it looked extremely depressing. I thought it would be about a bunch of characters who have to overcome huge obstacles in their lives and who possibly don’t have a lot of money. The money part was partly because of the title (and yes, I know that saying isn’t literal). Turns out it was just about a bunch of people doing pretty well financially who just make a lot of terrible decisions.

Of course, plenty of movies are like that. But they’re not as bad as this one. It was based on a novel by Terry McMillan that I haven’t read, so I can’t compare them. But I can say that I’d rather watch The Trials of Cate McCall five more times than sit through this movie again. The thing that made this one so bad is that you could tell it really thought it was amazing. Usually Lifetime movies have a certain air of “Yeah, we know this is crap” to them, and that makes them entertaining. But this one took itself way too seriously, which made its crappiness that much crappier. (Say crap again. Crap.) You might think I’m crazy and that there are plenty of Lifetime movies worse than this, but I’m going with my gut and saying this is the worst in my experience. Here are my reasons.

1. Whoopi Goldberg is in it.

I can’t take Whoopi Goldberg seriously anymore. Every character she plays is Whoopi Goldberg playing a character. Yes, she’s won an Oscar and yes she might objectively be a fine actress, but I can’t believe her as anyone but herself. All I see is the lady who co-hosts The View and never knows what the hell is going on in the world despite that being her job.

2. The script is terrible.

The supposedly dramatic parts are melodramatic, the supposedly funny parts are eye-roll-worthy. Every line tries to be so meaningful and inspiring, and that’s simply not how people talk. This is a movie where people say things like “We can still find us if we look for us.”

3. The acting is bad.

The script doesn’t help much, but the way everything plays out feels so unnatural and rehearsed. First of all, the actors deliver the lines a mile a minute and one after the other, probably because the movie tries to cram too much dialogue into a TV movie runtime. It feels like a high school play, where you can almost see the actors thinking “This is where I say my line, this is where I turn, this is where I smile, this is where I walk across the room, this is where I look sad.”

4. There are good actors in it.

I already said it stars Whoopi Goldberg, but it also stars Ving Rhames, Anika Noni Rose, and Mekhi Phifer. Putting established, talented actors in something so melodramatic makes it even worse, because there’s just so much failed potential wafting from the screen.

5. Whoopi Golderg narrates the entire movie.

I generally hate narration. There are very few movies and TV shows that can pull it off. If you can’t find a way to show me rather than tell me, we have a problem. It doesn’t help that Whoopi sounds like she half-assed it between commercial breaks on The View set.

6. There’s annoying jazz music playing the whole time.

Jazz music does not make things more emotional. It just makes me more likely to put my fingers in my ears.

7. Whoopi wears the most hideous hat I’ve ever seen.

That’s self-explanatory. It’s in that picture up there if you’re curious.

8. Everything that can go wrong does.

The plot of this movie is ridiculous. Whoopi Goldberg is the matriarch of a dysfunctional family of four children. Her husband leaves her and her doctor says another asthma attack could kill her. We spend the rest of the movie watching all this happen:

  1. Whoopi’s husband gets together with a younger woman who gets pregnant, but it’s not his baby.
  2. Whoopi’s granddaughter is being molested by her stepfather and literally pulling her hair out because of stress.
  3. Whoopi’s daughter is popping pills.
  4. Whoopi’s grandson gets a girl pregnant.
  5. Whoopi’s son is a drunk who’s in and out of jail and behind on child support… but he’s got the IQ of a genius!
  6. His son is being abused by his stepdad.
  7. Whoopi’s son-in-law has a secret lovechild with a woman he slept with ten years ago.

How is it possible for so many bad things to happen in one family, and for all of them to come to a head in such a short span of time? And I mean a really short span of time, which brings me to my next point:

9. Whoopi’s character dies immediately after her dream birthday party.

A dream birthday party during which:

  1. Her daughter is high on pills.
  2. Her granddaughter gets drunk and confesses what happened with her stepdad.
  3. Her grandson reveals he got a girl pregnant.
  4. Her husband confronts his girlfriend about the baby not being his.
  5. Her son discovers that his son is being abused and beats up the stepdad.
  6. He then gets arrested for beating up said stepdad during the party.
  7. Her family members just generally yell at each other a lot.

I mean… seriously?

10. Her funeral is depicted through black and white still photos.

Unless you’re a historical drama or a documentary, there is no reason to construct a scene entirely out of black and white photos. Just please don’t do it.

11. The last ten minutes of the movie is the family reading letters Whoopi left them.

First of all, they don’t even find the letters in her room until days after she dies, and then we just watch them sit around in a circle reading them aloud. It was like the movie realized “Oh shit we have to wrap this up and make sure everyone lives happily ever after, what do we do?”

12. Whoopi ends the movie in the worst green screen scene ever created.

This was the most entertaining part of the movie just because it was so bad I couldn’t believe it was real. We see the whole family sitting down for a pleasant dinner, and as the camera tracks away we see Whoopi watching over them. She turns around and walks down a long tunnel into a light (note to filmmakers everywhere, don’t use this image unless you want it to be a joke). She ends up in Paris, the place she’s always wanted to visit. Except they didn’t actually take Whoopi Goldberg to Paris, so you can imagine how bad it looked.

Please stop trying to make good movies, Lifetime. It’s really cute, but stop.

(Image: Lifetime)

You can reach this post's author, Jill O’Rourke, on twitter.
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    • Annie okli

      Regressed fag want to be spit out this article and loser

      • Jill O’Rourke

        Classiest comment ever.

      • http://twilightirruption.blogspot.com/ abbeysbooks

        That comment was done with fridge word magnets. Better than spending time on Lifetime trash.

      • M_G

        Ah, yes, internet anonymity. The first and only weapon of the trolls, the haters, the bigots, and, well, the stupid.

      • http://twilightirruption.blogspot.com/ abbeysbooks

        Stupid in, stupid out.

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    • Trevor

      Jill, I love your reviews and usually agree with you on your comments or complaints about Lifetime movies. But I have to disagree with you on this movie. It was pretty good for me. But I agree with you on #12. Those special effects would be the special effects crew for Birdemic say, “Wow, that CGI is terrible!”

      • Jill O’Rourke

        Whatever Birdemic is, I need to see it immediately.

    • FauxRealFaux

      Bad review. I loved this movie and I watched it twice.

      • Jill O’Rourke

        That’s cool, I’m glad you enjoyed it. It just didn’t work for me.

    • Tom Jayson

      Wow. I LOVED this movie. I thought the acting was first rate, yeah things were a little cooked up but there was fun and emotion in that, and the letter reading scene had me in a puddle of tears. I’m glad to see from the comments below that I’m not the only one who wasn’t with you on this one.

    • Ce

      I thought the movie was pretty good, although more time would have made it great. It was pretty realistic too. The old father who needs to feel young again, the sisters with distinct personalities who on-up each other whenever possible, and the son that has been ignored because of the close attention paid to the drama filled girls. I also miss seeing Whoopi on screen ( Ghost is one of my favorite movies). The only part I truly hated was listening to a friend talk through 10 minutes of the movie about something funny they’d just experienced.

    • Atticus

      Jill I suggest you are watching someone other than the Whoopi we are. Our Whoopi is in a class of her own. Not only is she an icon but she carries the distinction of being among the small group of EGOT winners, which I’m sure you are aware of. You mistake her sarcasm for being unaware as she is quite “aware of today’s issues”, it’s her job for which she is paid 2.5 million. My issue with your “review” is it is more character assassination than movie review. What happened to unbiased review of a movie sans cutting an actor apart with your pen. Stick to the movie in which the actor is either good or bad and leave out your opinion of that actor as a human being in a cut throat industry.

      • M_G

        It’s all well and good that you are a fan of Whoopi Goldberg. It’s ALSO okay that Jill is not. Also, there is no such thing as an “unbiased movie review.” Every reviewer is going to put a positive or negative spin on a movie based on how they feel about it. A review devoid of opinion is a movie summary, not a movie review. Also, this line: “Stick to the movie in which the actor is either good or bad and leave out your opinion of that actor”….what? So if the actor is terrible, let’s not comment on it because they might get they’re feelings hurt? I’d be willing to bet serious money you wouldn’t have bothered to say that if the author had written negatively about an actor/actress you don’t like.

      • http://twilightirruption.blogspot.com/ abbeysbooks

        OMG go read Walter Benjamin Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction for a guide on critical reviewing of any art form. Your unDivergent mind is still stuck in the Dominating Discourse of opposites. You know: good/bad; etc.

      • M_G

        I’ll get RIGHT on that, just as soon as it stops sounding like the pretentious rumblings of a pseudo-intellect.

    • nellboogie

      I just came across your blog for the first time…You’re assessment of the movie was pretty munch spot on. I have read the book a few times and I recently read it after I found my copy while packing. The movie strayed so far away from the spirit and intent of the original story that at one point I was ranting so loudly that I began to upset my 3 month old nephew. I gave up cursing years ago but this lifetime BS almost made me reactivate my membership to the cuss-like-a-pirate club. SMH!

      • Jill O’Rourke

        Thanks for your comment! Glad I’m not alone.

      • http://twilightirruption.blogspot.com/ abbeysbooks

        Nice company you keep. LIfetime movies are going to make you dumb. Maybe I should say dumber as you are not so sharp as you once were around here.

      • Cbalducc

        Back in the 1970s, a popular ABC series was its “Movie of the Week”. It was like Gump’s Chocolates – you never knew what you were going to get. But when you watch movies on certain networks now, you KNOW what to expect!


      • M_G

        It’s tragic that Jill forced you to read this review against your will. THANK GOD you managed to get this comment out to the rest of us while she was distracted (flipping through Lifetime On Demand, no doubt!). Rest assured, the appropriate authorities have been alerted to your plight…..I mean, that was the point of your comment, right? You’re not just a trolling Internet hater with nothing better to do with your time?

    • Cbalducc

      Back in the 1970s, many made-for-TV movies ran in a 90-minute time slot (meaning the actual movie was about 70-75 minutes long, the typical length of a 1930s “B” picture). Maybe if “modern” TV movies were shorter, they could cut out a lot of filler and they would be better.

    • Alice

      I strongly disagree!!!. Great Movie, great ending and great cast!

    • Towanda

      Wow! I just want to say, “Guys, I have just discovered the worst movie review ever!”
      Read the book first,then comment. I loved it,and so did the room full of my girlfriends, we read it in a bookclub, and always wanted to see a movie made of it. It was campy( like most Lifetime originals) but has good humor and messages. The title alone gives a hint of the obstacles in the story, although they are pedestrian, still good to see it all play out.

    • Joanne13

      Didn’t see the movie & I’m not familiar with the reviewer either but since I stumbled across this review I’ve got to say it was one of the funniest reviews EVER. Basically that’s my comment. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it Ms O’Rourke. So . . . THANKS! :o)

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