#DirtyLittleSecret, #HappilyNeverAfter, and more – TV Reviews

Table of Reviews

Dirty Little Secret – Review

Dirty Little Secret – Lifetime – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Lucy is a master at keeping secrets. Her mother, Joanna, is a compulsive hoarder, so Lucy never has friends over. The house has no running water, a pathway, and a small sleep area. Lucy has one friend, Kaylie, who never comes to the house, and Lucy takes showers at school. Whenever Lucy mentions cleaning, Joanna creates an excuse to keep her treasures. Joanna suffers from asthma and migraines and struggles with her finances. Also, Joanna works as a nurse in the cardiology ward and is a godsend to her patients.  

Lucy’s teacher assigns the class a presentation but picks the partner. The teacher pairs Lucy with Josh, and she objects immediately. She wants to pair with Kaylie, but her teacher won’t hear it. Now Lucy has to complete a school project without Josh coming to her home. Then, Lucy goes to her guidance counselor, Miranda, with fashion sketches. Miranda thinks Lucy has talent and tells Lucy to apply to FIT in NY. Out of fear, Lucy calls her sister, Sara, for guidance. Sara tells Lucy that going to an out-of-state school is not an option. Lucy is the only person that can watch Joanna since Sara and her brother, Phil, left.  

Lucy decides to stay in-state but changes her mind when she talks to Josh. His mom is a recovering alcoholic, and he goes to therapy. The therapist unburdened him from his mother’s issues. This admission prompts Lucy to go to Miranda for help. Lucy asks hypothetical questions, but Miranda sees through them and calls CPS. Will Joanna be pushed over the edge to clean or harm after Miranda alerted the officials? How far will Lucy go to keep Joanna’s secret?

Based on Dirty Little Secrets by C. J. Omololu, this movie will leave you tense, frustrated, and sad (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer). The plot takes the time to explain Joanna’s compulsion in a sequence of flashbacks. Her mother was a hoarder, so Joanna became a neat freak. However, Joanna’s husband couldn’t handle all the rules, so he left her and their three kids, causing her to hoard. And the lasting effects on Lucy are 100% evident in her resentment and shy nature. The set designers deserve a standing ovation because it can’t be easy to set up years of hoarding. And with the ending, you don’t have to wonder why the editor gave viewers the National Alliance on Mental Illness website. This movie covers so much in so little time, but where did dad go. Don’t be surprised if you want to cry, scream, and clean.

I give it 5 out of 5 stars

Nothing’s ever really lost.  We keep it all somewhere – Joanna

Does it get better? – Lucy

You can’t carry someone else’s burden – Josh

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Happily Never After – Review

Happily Never After – LMN – 2 hours and 0 minutes

After visiting her friends, Jordan and Antonia, Laura questions if she and Pete will ever get married. Pete says he wants to save money for a big wedding, but Laura thinks Pete is buying his time because he doesn’t want to get married. Pete blurts out February 24th for a wedding date, and Laura agrees. She looks online for wedding venues and ideas and sees an ad for a Veil Magazine contest. The winner gets an all-expenses-paid wedding with the top wedding planner, Faith. Laura enters the competition on a whim and wins. Pete agrees to meet Faith and sign the contract after hearing the wedding is free. As they walk into the meeting, Pete’s face turns white. When he and Laura broke up, he had a weekend-long fling with Faith and ghosted her. Faith plays it cool until Laura leaves the room. Faith confronts Pete about Laura, their brief romance, and their baby. Pete never knew about the baby and now begs Faith to keep it quiet. Faith obliges but wants to make Pete squirm and Laura disappear. She will manipulate, disconnect, and instigate to get Pete back. 

Talk about saved by the ending. This movie feels like the cliché Lifetime movie up to the last 10 minutes. The opening scene replays with a new and jaw-dropping perspective. This ending and Faith’s devious behavior make the film worth watching. Each time Faith sees a crack in Laura’s friendship, relationship, and connection with her mother-in-law, Faith takes advantage. Of course, Laura makes the mistake of trusting the new person in her life instead of her best friend. Faith is the wedding planner from hell but a master of deception.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars

Why can’t we set a date – Laura

This sounds like a trap – Pete

I’m paid to renovate, not replicate – Faith

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Deadly Yoga Retreat – Review

Deadly Yoga Retreat – Lifetime – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Isabella comes home from law school and tells her husband, Patrick, that she feels lost. She hasn’t felt whole since she quit teaching yoga a year ago. Patrick wonders if Isabella wants to leave school and instruct again, but Isabella says no. She looks through the mail and finds an acceptance letter from Remington’s Yoga Retreat. Isabella applied years ago but never got in and now thinks a week away will bring clarity. She readies herself to plead her case to Patrick, but he quickly approves.

Isabella arrives and finds an old friend, Pam, in the lobby. Pam got the same invite, and they can’t wait to work with Remington. At orientation, Remington tells the attendees that the retreat’s theme is ‘Look Inward.’ His methods are strenuous and absolute. So if someone doesn’t meet his standards, he will ask them to leave. He tells them not to be surprised if someone is missing from day to day. Isabella, Pam, and the other attendees accept these conditions and fight to meet Remington’s expectations. So as attendees disappear, they assume the women weren’t strong enough. Their assumptions are wrong.

Welcome to the making of a cult leader. Remington slowly grooms the women to accept things and implies a competition between them. They spend more time focusing on tearing each other down than seeing Remington for his sociopathic actions. As women disappear, the group makes disparaging comments about them and uplifts Remington’s methods. If anyone speaks against him, several members will come to his defense and report on each other. One scary fact: it happens in less than a week. So, watch, learn, and always ask questions.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars

Long term dream kinda turned into a nightmare – Isabella 

Sounds like a yogi greeting card, huh? – Remington

Did you find what you were looking for – Patrick 

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Our Dream Wedding – Review

Our Dream Wedding – UPtv – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Anxiously, Scott awaits his residency acceptance, but his girlfriend, Natalie, hasn’t applied. Scott doesn’t worry about Natalie because he knows she is an organized person. Scott and Natalie meet at the park, and Scott proposes. Natalie says no, and Scott walks away. Natalie plans every step of her life. And while she knew marrying Scott would happen, she didn’t think now was the right time. However, she’s worried that saying no was a bad idea. She meets with Scott again, and Scott tells her he’s accepted a residency in Chicago. She asks about their chances for a long-distance relationship, but he can’t answer her question. 

Natalie runs to her grandmother, Mimi, for comfort and guidance. Natalie worries that saying no to Scott will end their relationship forever. Mimi has an idea. Mimi brings Natalie to the attic and grabs her wedding veil. Mimi had second thoughts during her wedding, but putting it on brought her clarity. She wants Natalie to try on the wedding veil. Unsure, Natalie puts it on, pulls down the fabric, and lifts it back up. Natalie is in the living room, and Scott coming down the stairs. He mentions their honeymoon, and two kids walk into the room. Dylan and Emma call Natalie mommy, and Natalie faints. When Natalie sees Mimi, Mimi knows what happened. She tells Natalie that Natalie will stay in the future until the veil reveals what she needs to know. With a thriving practice, her sister’s wedding, and two kids, will Natalie say yes to her new life, or will she still say no?

This movie is very intriguing because it explores honest ups and downs in a marriage. Natalie sees the joys of having children but argues with Scott about Dylan’s test anxiety. Natalie and Scott attempt to make time for each other, but Natalie forgets because she is not the same person. Everything about the future isn’t easy. Natalie goes through every emotion and starts to regret the marriage, but she keeps working on it. These films usually shine a light on all the good but focusing on the hardships makes the plot believable.  

I give it 4 out of 5 stars

Hey, you stole that one – Scott

I can hear you – Natalie

Try it on – Mimi

Was that a concern – Abby

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Hidden Gems – Review

Hidden Gems – Hallmark – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Addy stands before her family and hands her sister, Kate, a Bride card during a dress fitting. It allows Kate to ask for help any time she wants, and Kate has something for Addy’s maid of honor gift. A 50/50 stake in Kate’s fashion design company. Since the inception of Watson’s Fashion, Addy assisted Kate, so now Kate thinks sharing the company is the perfect gift. Kate plans on putting out a press release after the wedding. While everyone smiles, Addy panics because this isn’t the life she wanted for herself. Addy went to school for marine biology but left when Kate needed help. Addy smiles and says she will look over the paperwork later.

Addy and Kate arrive at The Kahala Resort and meet with the event coordinator, Hannah. Hannah planned activities for the wedding guests, the ceremony, and the reception. The first activity is paddleboard yoga, and Addy has fun until she loses her balance and falls off the paddle board. When they come back to shore, Addy notices her ring is missing. The flawless south sea golden pearl belonged to Addy’s grandmother (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer). During the war, her grandfather found the pearl and designed a ring for it. Addy’s grandmother told her it was magic and the start of their family. Addy runs to Hannah for someone who can help find the ring. Hannah tells Addy that Jack, the dive instructor, has good luck finding things. Addy wants Jack’s help immediately, but that’s impossible. It’s Jack’s day off, he doesn’t have a cell phone, and he lives on a boat. Hannah tells Addy where Jack docks his boat.

Addy arrives at Jack’s boat and sees him ready to sail away. Jack tells Addy he will help her tomorrow, but Jack won’t give in to another spoiled bride. Addy says she is a maid of honor, not a bride. Then Addy jumps on Jack’s boat to convince him as he sails away. Jack won’t help Addy now and refuses to return her to shore. When Addy sees Kate’s wedding party from the boat, she pleads for a ride to the shoreline. Jack says no, hands her a life vest, and tells Addy to swim. Addy makes it to the party soaking wet from head to toe.  

Addy meets with Jack the next day to discuss his fee. He charges 10% of the item’s value, but Addy never got the ring appraised. So she offers Jack $2000 now and $2000 when they find the ring. Jack agrees to the fee but not about diving together. Addy shows Jack she is a certified divemaster but needs someone who knows the beach to guide her. Jack decides to comply because her money will help fund his worldwide trip. Addy will find the woman she left behind as their passions grow for each other.

This Summer Nights movie is a gentle start to the Hallmark season. It starts with an unfulfilled lead’s search for her passion. As Addy works with Jack, she talks about her desire to get back into marine biology and work with a local program. Jack’s encouragement of Addy’s dream is beautiful. He tells her to throw caution to the wind and put herself first. With everyone’s storyline coming to a peaceful solution, this film is an uncomplicated watch.

I give it 3 out of 5 stars

How weird is too weird – Kate

I did not expect that – Jack

Yeah, I surprised myself – Addy

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