The final installment of the 2009 Nora Roberts Collection premiered on Lifetime Saturday night, and well, every night since. Tribute, starring Brittany Murphy (in the bushiest set of eyebrows in prime-time since The O.C. was cancelled) and Jason Lewis, was nothing if not entirely absurd. If you want to know the plot, check out the plot of Midnight Bayou, but instead of pre-Civil War era flashbacks, make it 1970’s flashbacks, peppered with alcoholism, pill popping and extra large flowers.
Brittany Murphy is the granddaughter of an two-time Academy Award-winning actress who “committed suicide” before Brittany was born. Her mother is also an actress, as was she. Obviously she moved into her grandmother’s Victorian house on 40 acres in middle Virginia to fix it up, a “tribute” to her grandmother. Oh soon enough shit gets crazy. The doll made in her likeness during her child star days keeps appearing, hung on a noose from the living room fan with notes like, “die bitch” and other parts of the farm are totally vandalized, providing a mystery about her grandmother, for Brittany to solve. Yet, protective custody is never an option. Clearly because getting engaged to Smith Jarred, who lives across the street and dresses like an Asian Dance Dance Revolution champion, makes so much more sense.
–Let’s talk about him for a second. Jason Lewis. Who the hell is your agent? Because I think it might still be Valerie Malone. The shitty parts you two would discuss between sex scenes in your Valley fixer upper and appearances at The After Dark, seem to be exactly what parts you’re taking now. You don’t even have a pictures in your IMDB profile. Didn’t Sex and the City do ANYTHING for your career? Apparently not.–
Back to this movie. I suggest watching it for the following reasons even though it’s terrible:
1. Brittany Murphy has really let herself go. She’s still thin, but remember when Uptown Girls came out, and it was a shock to realize that it was chubby/red-head/skank Ty from Clueless in the part of the cute, thin, spunky blonde? Well, she’s heading back downhill. She apparently peaked.
2. Possibly the most important, Christian Oliver appears in this flick as Brittany’s ex-husband (Hollywood style, married briefly, still best friends). Who, you might ask, is Christian Oliver? None other than LUCA from the 1995 film adaptation of The Babysitter’s Club. Amazing.
3. It contains the words “Lifetime Original” in it’s title.
4. The moment the villain comes on screen, you know instantly, because they have Lifetime movie “crazy eyes.” (Is there a special class in which you learn how to have this look? Or do they just cast people with oracular deformities?)
5. The quote “It’s not just a shower. It’s an experience.” made it into the final script.
What more could you possibly want?