Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Movie Review: A Deadly Adoption, Lifetime movie starring Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig

On April 1, it was announced that comedy heavyweights Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig were going to star together in a Lifetime made-for-television movie. Most naturally assumed that it was an April Fool's joke. Lifetime TV movies are cliche-filled, stereotypical, full of cheesy plot lines and cringe-worthy dialogue.

And that is exactly what "A Deadly Adoption," starring Ferrell and Wiig, is. Produced by Ferrell and Adam McKay, the team behind "Funny Or Die" (the girl from the Landlord video is McKay's daughter), this is basically a spoof of a Lifetime movie. I am not sure how it came about, but I'm glad it did. It was a very "meta" move on Lifetime's part to make fun of themselves.

There is no comedy in "A Deadly Adoption." The comedy comes from watching two funny actors play it straight in a cliche-filled film. From the opening moments of Wiig falling off a dock into a lake and Ferrell trying in vain to revive her, to moments later seeing him weeping beside her hospital bed, to discovering they lost their unborn baby in the accident, you quickly realize that this isn't the typical role for either of them.

It's hard to watch this movie with a straight face, but the humor comes from them playing it with a straight face. Ferrell at one point comments to a friend that he is "six months clean and sober." He then dramatically pulls open a drawer on his desk and stares longingly at a bottle of whiskey.

Ferrell and Wiig are adopting a baby, five years after the accident. They meet an unwed pregnant woman named Bridgett living at a homeless shelter. There's no way they're allowing the mother of their new child to live like that, so they suggest she stay with them for the duration of her pregnancy. 

Ferrell's character is a famous author and the pregnant lady is familiar with his work. There is a lot of foreshadowing as to whether or not they will have an affair. Who has feelings for who? 

There is a major plot twist near the end. It devolves into a sordid mystery involving lies, stealing, murder, kidnapping, deception, and any other plot device you can think of.

Spoiler alert: There's a happy ending. It wouldn't be a cliche Lifetime movie without it. During one of the pivotal establishing moments early in the film, Wiig sadly mentions to a friend that Ferrell is just not himself anymore; he doesn't dance in the kitchen and have a good time like he used to. Again, the comedy comes from how straight they play their roles. The very last moment of "A Deadly Adoption" features Ferrell exclaiming "I love this song!" turning up the radio, and proceeding to happily dance around the kitchen like an idiot.

As a story, it's stupid. It's like most Lifetime movies. But as a 2-hour work of satire, it's amazing. If you are a fan of clever humor, of looking for the laughs that aren't there, then "A Deadly Adoption" is something you should check out.

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