#BobbyDeBargeStory, #FamilyPictures, and more – TV Reviews

Table of Reviews

The Bobby DeBarge Story – Review

The Bobby DeBarge Story – TV One – 2 hours and 0 minutes

The Bobby DeBarge Story

Bobby DeBarge sits in a hotel lobby with his manager Bernd, his brother, Tommy, and his bandmate Greg.   Greg is furious that Bobby has been late or never showed up for appearances and concerts.  Their group, Switch is being financially hurt due to Bobby’s negligence.  However, Bobby is angry the record label hasn’t given his siblings a chance. He tells Bernd to call Jermaine Jackson to talk to Berry Gordy (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  Jermaine discovered Switch and produced their current album.  Although Bernd feels they use Jermaine too much, he asks for the favor and the family is flown out to LA.  Bobby mentors his siblings before the showcase but is easily distracted by his girlfriend, LaToya Jackson.  The 4 DeBarge siblings easily wow Berry with their singing, writing, and ease in the studio (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  They are the next big hit in Motown records.  As their star rises, Bobby’s issues magnify.   He uses drugs to cope with a physically, mentally, and sexually abusive childhood.  Bobby wants to be on top but can’t get past his demons.  With everything in the balance, Bobby will only have family, prison, and regret in his future.

First, get past the bad wigs to understand the pain of the storyline.  Each time they revisit the DeBarge childhood home you will feel sick to your stomach.  That feeling intensifies when the abuse is excused by their mother and repeated by Bobby.  Now, fans of the DeBarge family won’t learn anything new about Bobby or his family.  Movie lovers will only get a small glimpse of the DeBarge musical catalog.  This movie feels like it should have been part 2 of a DeBarge Family Story, not a Bobby DeBarge movie.  Hopefully, we will get a DeBarge group story to fill in the holes.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars

I wish I could start over – Bobby

Don’t let this light skinned thing fool you now – Tommy

When you’re done ridding the world from the likes of me, who’s gonna save you – Robert

Relax your mind and just do what you do – Jermaine

We’re gonna make stars out of them – Barry

I tried, Bobby. I tried – Etterlene

I’m done with you. Done – James

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Family Pictures – Review

Family Pictures – Lifetime – 2 hours and 3 minutes

Family Pictures

Eve convinces her mother, Sylvie, to let her go to NYU’s orientation after being accepted in the fall.  Sylvie knows her husband Mark told Eve no, but she weakens because Mark is away on business.  At a party, Eve meets Grace.  The two girls hit it off instantly as prudes and Grace invites Eve back to her home.  Eve spends the night and hangs out the next morning.  As Grace’s mom, Maggie, hosts a fancy party, the girls hang out in the rec room.  Eve looks at the pictures on the wall and sees a familiar face: her dad Mark.  She tells Grace they have the same dad and show her a picture on her phone.  Grace rushes to her mom to show her and Maggie shoos her away.  Maggie is furious Grace would embarrass her with these lies during her party.  Eve flies home to talk to Sylvie.  When she gets home, Sylvie wants to talk about her secret.  Eve assumes it’s about Mark but learns her mom wants to talk about her bulimia.  Eve can’t tell her mom the truth and agrees to go to treatment.  The next day, Mark’s motorcycle is repoed from Sylvie’s house and they ask her about 2 other fancy cars.  Sylvie has never seen these cars and the repo man ask her if she is Maggie.  Sylvie tells him no and he takes the motorcycle.  At the same moment, the women want answers.  Maggie looks at the picture on Grace’s phone and Sylvia looks up Maggie on the internet.  Both women see their husband with the other woman.  Maggie calls Sylvie to kindly get answers.  After a few moments on the phone, Maggie can’t take anymore and hangs up.  So, Sylvie travels from LA to Connecticut to see her face to face.  Sylvie sees Maggie is living in the lap of luxury but all her possessions are being taken away and Maggie is taking every pill she can find.  Since Mark left Sylvie with nothing, she hoped Maggie had money for Eve’s treatment.  On the same page of anger and resolution, the women head to the bank.  Sadly, Maggie discovers that Mark owed $750,000 to the bank, the house belongs to the bank, and the feds are looking for Mark.  Maggie can’t believe Mark has made her the laughing stock of her town.  Sylvie convinces her to sell her jewelry.  With the money, Grace can finish the semester at NYU and Eve can go to treatment.  As the days go by, the women lean on each other for support.  Until Mark arrives at someone’s doorstep pleading for help.  The women’s friendship falls apart, leaving one woman broken and the other building herself up.

Based on Family Pictures by Jane Green, this movie will leave you stunned and satisfied.  (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  When Eve sees her dad’s photo on Grace’s wall, your heart breaks instantly for her.  Especially because she is in the throes of an eating disorder.  In most Lifetime movies, the women quickly turn on each other and finally kills the man at the end.  Since this is based on a book, the material is more mature and true to life.  The women become best friends.  They don’t turn on each other until one feels betrayed.  While they look different on the outside, these women have one thing in common: They were saved by Mark.  This allowed them to be slowly manipulated into accepting his disappearances and neglect.  This movie was made for sipping and spilling your tea.

I give it 5 out of 5 stars

Keep those clubs away from me – Maggie

I am loved. I am enough – Sylvie

That grapefruit has like 3 different kinds of herpes after that – Eve

Glad I’m not the only prude at this party – Grace

Shouldn’t I have a say since I was the one who earned the money – Mark

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Anniversary Nightmare – Review

Anniversary Nightmare – LMN – 2 hours and 0 minutes

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Andrew surprises Liz with a romantic Hawaiian getaway.  He wants to leave the world behind and spend quality time with his wife.  After 10 years of marriage, Liz is blown away with Andrew’s romantic prowess. The two have a sexy night but Liz wakes up alone.  At first, she thinks Andrew left to make coffee.  Then, she sees blood on her hand.  Liz screams and yells for Andrew so much and so loud, the neighbors call the cops.   After looking through the house, they see signs of a struggle and blood on Liz’s neck.  But when they find a burning body outside, they immediately arrest Liz.  After a few days, Liz’s mother Barbara has pulled some strings and got her daughter back to the mainland.  Liz tries to continue with her life but her in-laws hate her and her children are always worried.   After dropping off her kids at school, Liz is arrested for manslaughter and tampering with evidence.  The judge is a friend of Barbara but still denies Liz bail.  Liz is shocked to see the ugly side of jail but is befriended by a wonderful group of women.  These women stick up for each other, pray together, and give her guidance.  They tell her to investigate Andrew’s death because it sounds like she was set up and the cops will never help.  After slowly losing her parents confidence and finding a huge clue, Liz comes up with a plan to find out the truth.  That plan includes breaking out of jail.

It’s easy for Lifetimers to assume they know the plot and come up with the standard conclusion.  You would be wrong.  This movie follows the Lifetime formula but turns the conclusion on its head.  This movie has a strong mystery because you don’t know if Andrew is dead.  Also, the two have no enemies and some of the evidence points back to Liz.  When the overall plot is revealed, you aren’t really sure how to feel about Liz.  Is she a victim of her own making? Did she do what was expected? In the end, this movie feels more like a statement for prison and sentencing reform.  The only downside is the backing track is often too loud and there are too many close-ups.

I give it 3 out of 5 stars

Oh, when we can’t afford the electricity bill, I will be worried – Liz

Take a deep breath. Island time – Andrew

No, I’m their grandmother. They never have to see that wretched woman again – Barbara

Sounds like a set up to me – Rashida

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Mystery 101: Playing Dead – Review

Mystery 101: Playing Dead – HMM – 2 hours and 0 minutes

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Officer Claire (Bud’s sister and the police chief’s daughter) enter a build after finding the glass broken.  She is knocked out by the assailant and left for dead.  Fortunately, Claire survives but remembers very little about the attack. She encourages Bud to continue with his play while the police investigate her attack.  The play, titled Shadow of Death, will star the hometown hero Bella Brighten.  Bud is the stage manager, Lacey plays the shooter, and Professor Amy is a script consultant.  As they rehearse, more drama is happening behind the scenes than on the stage.  Lacey sees Bella arguing with Carl, the stagehand, then Bella telling Carl to ‘handle it’.  Bella’s ex Sebastian stops by the play to win Bella back, in front of her husband Duncan.  Bella’s co-star, Elliot is in love with her despite his girlfriend Josie.  During a talk with Amy, a stage light almost kills Bella.  With everything going on, they manage to keep it together for opening night.   During the play, Lacey steps on stage with her gun and fires.  Det. Travis knows it was a real bullet.   He stops the play immediately and marks it as an active crime scene.  He must figure out who, if anyone, is trying to kill Bella and why.  Amy and Travis try to convince Bella not to have the after party, but she does.  At the party, Duncan and Elliot get into a fight and the party ends.  The next morning, someone is reported dead.

This mystery is well written, well acted, and mentally stimulating.  You MUST (yes, MUST) recorded it.  Watching it twice isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity.  Don’t even bother trying to figure out ‘who dun it’ because you will be wrong.  And the ‘why’ will make you want to watch twice.  This story is unique because there isn’t a clear victim for an hour.  So, you see each character’s problem with the victim develop.  You aren’t playing the fly on the wall as Amy unveils the mystery, you are part of it.  As the story develops, this movie pays homage to three amazing reads: The Maltese Falcon, Emma, and The Thin Man (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  So, with that being said, DVR this movie and watch it 3 times with your undivided attention.

I give it 5 out of 5 stars

So basically she does exactly what she does in class – Bud

Oh, darling.  You tried – Bella

Young man, life is more fun when you do the things you are not supposed to – Sebastian

No, you’re right. Sorry for screaming – Lacey

I’ll ask for your help the minute you become a law enforcement professional – Travis

No, it’s fine. I hear you loud and clear – Amy

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The Last Bridesmaid – Review

The Last Bridesmaid – Hallmark – 2 hours and 0 minutes

The Last Bridesmaid

Becca has been a bridesmaid in 9 different weddings.  At her friend’s wedding, Becca is the only single bridesmaid.  She knows its a matter of time before her cousin Lucy, also a bridesmaid, is engaged to her longtime boyfriend.  However, Becca isn’t bitter.  She is romantic looking for her Mr. Right.  During the wedding, she meets Kyle.  He is the photographer with the worse timing.  He is a wedding cynic. The two banter back and forth but Becca is unimpressed.  A few days after the wedding, Lucy is engaged and wants Becca to be her maid of honor.  Ecstatic, Becca accepts and starts planning.  Lucy wanted her wedding document, so the father of the bride Archie pays for the best package.  This package includes filming the engagement party, wedding dress fittings, cake tasting, the works!  And Archie hired the best videographer in town, Kyle.  During the engagement party, Kyle spots Becca and they trade quips again.  She finds him funny but doesn’t agree with his views on love.  But Lucy has a plan.  One that doesn’t involve Kyle.  She wants to set Becca up with Aiden, the best man.  The two hit it off and make plans for the future.  At the wedding dress fitting, Kyle is filming.  He sees the dress shop owner admiring Becca’s jewelry.  She offers to buy some pieces but Becca says no.  Jewelry making has always been a hobby, not a dependable, stable future.   Becca will be taking over her parent’s insurance company after they retire.  While it’s not her passion, it’s reliable income.  Kyle knows her biggest problem is not dependability, it’s fear.  So, he makes a deal with her. Create some pieces for the store and sell them.  In turn, he will create his dream film project.  The two shake hands and seal their future careers and love life.

This movie is an easy and good laugh.  Kyle and Becca argue like a married old couple.  These two characters could have easily been played by a 90-year-old couple.  As they verbally spar, you want to keep score.  While the love story unfolds, the real love story is about passion.  These two want more for their lives but they fell into the comfort trap.  She is afraid to sell her jewelry, so she made it a hobby and sells insurance.  He is afraid to make his movie, so he keeps it on the backburner while he films weddings.  They lean on each other for support while finding careers for themselves and love for each other.  With this funny and strong storyline, this movie brings attention to American Humane.  A wonderful organization that reunites soldiers with the dogs they trained and worked with during combat.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars

Have fun dress. This is your only day outside – Becca

That’s it. I quit. I’m out – Kyle

I think this would photograph beautifully. Right, Kyle? – Lucy

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