#12DesperateHours, #NewlywedNightmare, and More – TV Reviews

Table of Reviews

12 Desperate Hours – Review

12 Desperate Hours – Lifetime – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Val kisses her husband, Mark, and reminds him about date night. It’s important because it’s their anniversary, and she has a gift for him. Mark thought they said no presents. But she promises it’s small. Val sees him off and helps their sons, Spencer and Parker, through the winter break. She goes outside to ask her neighbor, Bob, to stop sawing wood but offers to make him lemonade instead. Val hears banging at the door while making lemonade. She assumes Bob wants his lemonade now and opens it with a calming breath. Instead, Val sees a stranger, Denny, with a double-barrel shotgun, dripping in sweat and mumbling. He forces her inside the house and demands she turns on the TV. When Denny points his gun at Spencer, Val runs between them and vows to keep Spencer out of Denny’s way. However, Denny becomes irate when he discovers Parker in another room. He wants to leave but worries the police will spot him. So Val offers to drive the car if Denny doesn’t hurt her sons. Denny agrees and locks the boys in their room with a telephone cord wrapped around the doors. Val gets in the car and follows Denny’s demands while praying to live through the ordeal. She has no idea what terror the next 12 desperate hours will bring.

Adapted from Last Dance, Last Chance by Ann Rule, the writer loosely based this on the story of Patricia Jean Jaque (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer). It doesn’t take long for the plot to bring the viewers into a panic. The storyline paints Denny as an unhinged man looking for his ex-girlfriend, Cherie. He uses Val to enter the home and workplace of Cherie’s family and friends. It’s easy for people to victim blame, but Val saves several lives by staying with Denny. She keeps him calm and passes information to bystanders to keep them safe. While the story focuses on the kidnapping, it’s about two love stories. The first is a developed marriage that needs some nurturing, but the other relationship is toxic and codependent. The conclusion is like those two relationships because it’s loving and sad. So, be prepared to cheer and feel defeated.

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars

Walk to work on an empty stomach – Val

You know, don’t you – Denny

Boy, I don’t see you at all. You’re insignificant – Francine

I should just let it be over, right? – Cherie

You ain’t letting me know nothing. I’m coming with you – Mark

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Newlywed Nightmare – Review

Newlywed Nightmare – Lifetime – 2 hours and 0 minutes

David and Lauren travel to Atlanta for their honeymoon because David has some loose ends to tie up since his father died. David worries Lauren isn’t happy because she always dreamed of going to Hawaii, but she assures David that she is overjoyed being anywhere with him. Lauren notices a change in David’s demeanor when Lauren kisses him. She wants to know more about what’s bothering David, but he doesn’t desire to discuss it.

David and Lauren get food, and a woman, Gina, pays for their meal. Gina walks to their table and introduces herself. Their relationship reminds her of her and her husband before her husband died. After Gina leaves, they go running in the woods, and a man starts chasing Lauren, causing her to have an asthma attack. The man runs away when he sees David, and they call the police. Lauren recounts the events but explains something is wrong with her inhaler. It has a crack, and the contents are empty. She has a spare at the hotel but doesn’t understand how it got damaged.

David and Lauren go to a farmer’s market, but David sees a woman from his past. She looks like his ex-wife, Sadie, and he walks over for a better look. The woman isn’t Sadie, but Lauren demands to know what’s on David’s mind. David assures Lauren he is fine and offers to get them some water. David returns and can’t find Lauren. He calls the police, but they snidely ignore his claims. They saw Lauren, arm in arm, with another man. They assume Lauren left him. So they refuse to file a missing persons report. David doesn’t think Lauren would dump him on their honeymoon and needs to find her before she dies.

This movie is the definition of doing too much. It covers an abusive marriage, a stalking ex-spouse, an evil stepmother, a secretive husband, a kidnapping, and a drug ring in two hours. And it becomes disjointed with several flashbacks. With so many storylines, the plot still has loose ends and leaves possibilities for a part 2. And the final recap is just as confusing as the rest of the story. They never explained why David was the target out of everyone else in Sadie’s life, why Sadie owed so much money, or if Sadie’s father was a part of the deal. And the plot didn’t fully explain what happened to Cynthia. It has a lot of moving parts with zero direction.

I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars

Maybe I overdid it just a little bit – David

You can tell me anything. No matter what – Lauren

Calm down. You’re gonna be just fine – Sadie

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Her Affair to Die For – Review

Her Affair to Die For – LMN – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Law student Christina updates her parents, Noah and Liz, on her roommate search. Noah offers to help financially, but Christina refuses. Before Christina leaves for class, she hears her parents arguing over her birthday party. Liz worries that Noah won’t make it to Christina’s party because he is doing everything to become a partner at his law firm. Noah tells Liz he will try her best and gets upset when he discovers that Sam is coming by to help. Liz runs a catering business at home and explains that she needs extra hands to help with orders. Noah says he doesn’t understand how Liz’s hobby got so big, and Liz is furious at his dismissive comments. They both leave angry.

Christina interviews several potential roommates, but only one stands out: Alyssa. Alyssa isn’t a student but works and volunteers at a hospital. Christina takes Alyssa to the apartment and offers Alyssa the room for rent. As they iron out the details, Christina gets a text message from Noah. She grabbed Noah’s folder by accident, and Noah needs it now to get a leg up with his boss, Andrew. Christina doesn’t have enough time to drop off the folder and go to class, so Alyssa offers to take the folder to Noah. Christina breathes a sigh of relief and gives Alyssa the documents.
Alyssa arrives at Noah’s office but refuses to give the folder to Noah’s assistant, Patricia. Alyssa explains that Christina told her to give it to Noah only. Patricia rolls her eyes and walks Alyssa to Noah’s office. Alyssa introduces herself as Christina’s new roommate, and Noah makes pleasantries. Alyssa leaves Noah’s office with a plan to make Noah fall in love with her and leave Liz. And she won’t let anyone stop her.

This movie has some of the dumbest men in LMN history. Noah, Craig, and Peter fall for the oldest tricks in the book and become Alyssa’s willing prey. She doesn’t do much to get their attention, and they fall her lies without a second thought. Viewers won’t see them as victims, just pathetic fools. The script paints Liz as a nag and Noah as a jerk. Christina is the only innocent party who calls out everyone’s actions. Christina is the most level-headed for being the youngest person in this scenario. If you want a scandalous movie with only one likable character, this film is for you. Otherwise, be prepared to yell at the screen while rooting for Alyssa.

I give it 3 out of 5 stars 

I just don’t want her to be disappointed – Liz

I thought this baking thing was just a hobby – Noah

Actually, I would – Christina

And be branded as the slut who should have known better? No thanks – Alyssa

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Secret Society of Lies – Review

Secret Society of Lies – Lifetime – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Chrissy passes notes to Ryan during the debate competition because she has glossophobia. However, Ryan can’t read her notecards and loses the match. He blames Chrissy for embarrassing him and leaves the auditorium while Chrissy’s mom, Nora, hugs and comforts Chrissy. Chrissy runs into Dean Martel outside, and he warns Chrissy that she could forfeit her scholarship if she continues to lose. She promises to do better and focuses on the next competition. 

Chrissy unwinds at a party with her friend, Sarah, and plays beer pong against Nathan. Nathan is the Dean’s son but doesn’t like to advertise it. Nathan and Chrissy flirt during the game, and she and Sarah beat Nathan and his friend. Chrissy overhears Sarah and Ryan arguing and comes to Sarah’s defense. Ryan comments that Chrissy should use that energy in a debate match so they could win and walks away. Nathan challenges Chrissy to another round of beer pong but doesn’t see someone spike her drink. Sarah sees that Chrissy is unsteady, but Chrissy assures Sarah she can make it to the dorm alone. A man in a bird mask attacks Chrissy, draws a symbol on the back of her neck, and takes a photo of her on the ground with her skirt up. Chrissy runs away but passes out on the grass. 

Chrissy wakes up in a hospital room with Sarah and Nathan at her bedside. The doctor diagnoses Chrissy with alcohol poisoning. Nora rushes in to check on her daughter. Chrissy and Nora want to report the attack to the cops, but Nathan convinces Chrissy not to because the Dean could expel her for underage drinking on campus. Instead, Chrissy wants to meet with the Dean to report the incident. Dean Martel questions Chrissy’s clothing and drinking during the attack. Chrissy and Nora are appalled by his dismissive attitude and victim-blaming. Chrissy wants the school to investigate and warn other students. However, Dean says it’s a case of he said/she said and refuses. But Chrissy won’t give up and asks Sarah to cover her story in the university newspaper. Sarah’s report emboldens past victims and enrages a secret society of abusers dating back decades. They won’t let Chrissy ruin their way of life and plan to destroy her to maintain it.

This movie is reminiscent of Black Christmas minus the holiday (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer). Chrissy and Nora took too long to see the signs of the society and the traitor in their midst. The trigger warning, in the beginning, is necessary, and the Dean will make your flesh crawl. This secret society is a women-bashing group that wants to strengthen the patriarchy. This plot is possible if you read posts from the internet’s darkest corners. However, Chrissy’s blatant mistakes and head-over-heels mentality will irritate viewers and make you lose interest in her safety and well-being. 

I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars

The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing – Dean Martel

Good job, new girl – Nathan

I worked for everything that I have – Ryan

Everything. Nothing. I don’t know – Sarah

Attack is not a prank – Chrissy

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Mixed Baggage – Review

Mixed Baggage – UPtv – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Jake packs his carry-on with Ray’s engagement ring inside. For six years, Ray dated Olivia. And now, Ray wants to propose with the perfect ring. Jake will bring the ring on his flight back to L.A. Jake, Olivia, and Ray are opening J.O.R. Workshop in L.A. in a few days, but Ray wants to propose before the store’s grand opening. 

Evie, short for Everett, will travel to Vancouver with a connecting flight to L.A. She is an associate producer with her friend Barbara on a movie set. They are remaking Cyrano de Bergerac, and Evie has the custom prosthetic nose for the lead actor. She puts the nose in her carry-on and boards the flight. Before take-off, someone bumps Evie, and Evie almost falls into Jake’s lap. They notice each other, and she sits across from him. The woman next to Jake worries that people’s luggage crowds her bag in the overhead storage bins. So the flight attendant re-arranges the bags and puts Jake and Evie’s carry-ons next to each other, not realizing they are identical (F.T.C. Affiliate Disclaimer). 

Evie can see that Jake is nervous during the flight because he folds napkins into shapes and flinches during turbulence. She preoccupies him during the flight with conversations about the past. Jake doesn’t realizes he’s relaxed until the plane starts its descent. Jake writes his number on a napkin, folds it into a rose, and gives it to Evie. Evie thanks him and gathers her things. She never sees the flight attendant grab her rose and throw it away. Evie leaves the plane for her connection, and Jake goes to J.O.R. Workshop. 

Jake tells his friends about the cute girl on the plane but doesn’t think he will see her again. Then, he opens his bag to give Ryan Olivia’s engagement ring but finds a big nose. Evie tells her friend, Barbara, about the paper-rose man and swoons. Barbara doesn’t believe in true love and rolls her eyes at Evie. Then, Evie opens her bag to give the nose to her producer, Michael but finds men’s clothes. Jake and Evie need to get their bags from the other. It could ruin Ryan’s relationship and Michael’s movie. However, finding each other will only be half the battle. The other fight is reclaiming their spark from the plane.

This movie starts with a split screen of the luggage and the significant, time-sensitive item Jake and Eve carry. At first, you believe this movie will be about them finding each other physically, but it’s not. They quickly deduce who the other is and their location. At one point, they miss each other when Jake is in Vancouver and Evie is in L.A. They get to know each other through their friends but constantly jump to conclusions about the other. She assumes Jake is married, and he thinks she isn’t attracted to him. They have more miscommunication than a Three’s Company episode (F.T.C. Affiliate Disclaimer). Not only do viewers get a unique storyline, but they also get three love stories in one film. This film hooks you with wit, a complex plot, and honest tales of love.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars

It’s supposed to be a peacock, but it’s open to interpretations – Jake

Oh, I love having nothing to do – Evie

Is that some millennial slang that I’m not hip to – Barbara

Yeah, because that’s what women want, Jake, a funny proposal – Ray

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Welcome to Valentine – Review

Welcome to Valentine – Hallmark – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Olivia comes home from the art studio with a blank canvas because she can’t find inspiration in New York. Her roommate, Tess, encourages Olivia to keep trying. Nevertheless, Tess has good and bad news. Tess got a part on a TV show in Chicago but has to move out by the end of next week to avoid breaking their lease. Without Tess, Olivia knows she can’t afford the apartment. Tess tells Olivia to look on the bright side because Olivia will visit her family in Valentine, Nebraska. Olivia admits she didn’t get the plane ticket because she couldn’t afford it. Tess offers to buy them, but Olivia refuses. Olivia plans on working while figuring out her living arrangement. Tess pulls out her phone and discovers they are working at Camilla Hollander’s 40 under 40 gala. Camilla is a well-respected name in the art scene. Olivia decides to get some face time with Camilla and exhibit her paintings. She hopes Camilla can give her a leg up or a showing. However, Olivia feels discouraged because she has been in New York for two years with little success. 

At the Gala, Olivia spots and walks toward Camilla. However, Olivia bumps into a man, George, trying to grab food off her tray. George and Olivia debate art before Olivia goes to the back office to get more food. Olivia points out George to Tess, and Tess tells Olivia that George is her cousin and a future CEO. Tess leaves the back room to talk to George. George is leaving town tomorrow. George’s father will announce George as the new CEO before stepping down. George’s father wants his classic car to be in LA for the big announcement and asks George to drive it there by Valentine’s day.

Olivia offers mushroom soup to the guests as she attempts to approach Camilla again. At first, George says no to the soup but changes his mind and knocks Olivia’s tray onto Camilla. This action is Olivia’s last strike, and her boss fires her. Olivia goes home with the feeling of defeat after losing her job and home in one day. Tess knows how to make Olivia happy. George felt awful about making her spill the tray on Camilla. So, Tess and George arrange to drive from New York to LA with a pit stop in Chicago and another in Nebraska. Tess can visit her family, figure out her future, and save money. Olivia agrees, and they make the trip. 

After arriving in Nebraska, George meets Olivia’s sister, Vanessa, and Vanessa’s son, Mickey. They confirm that Valentine, Nebraska is a real place with an annual parade. This year, Vanessa runs the festivities and Operation External Illumination. George says goodbye to Olivia and her family to make it to LA on time, but his car won’t start. Vanessa calls the town mechanic, Ron, to jump the car. However, he crosses the red-and-black connections and fries the electrical system. Pissed, George has to stay in Nebraska until he and Ron fix the car. And hopefully, make it to LA in time for his father’s CEO announcement. While he spends more time with Olivia, George will find the passion within himself and for her. 

This movie feels like a road-trip film, but it’s not. Its Nebraskan destination is the focal point of the plot. The road trip happens over the first 30 minutes then the writer focuses on Olivia and George’s lack of success. People in her town believe her to be a success and ask her about her progress. Olivia feels like she isn’t living up to her or their expectations. George is a success on paper, but he wants to steer his father’s company into more philanthropic work. But his father shoots down George’s ideas. Yes, this is a rom-com, but it’s a movie about how people view success. Whether at the top of the heap or the bottom of the mountain, you may not feel like you are successful. Today’s hustle culture needs this film’s message. And just as the script slows down, the writer throws in some bitter sabotage to keep you watching. This film is one of 2023’s Loveuary season’s best movies.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars

I have to shoot my shot with her – Olivia

One person’s trash is another person’s Monet – George

You are enough, more than enough – Tess

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