Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig Spoofed Lifetime on Lifetime: Funny and Dull at the Same Time


You knew that Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig’s “A Deadly Adoption” was a spoof. Lifetime TV let them make a parody of one of their god awful movies of the week. Why? For ratings? It was like a 90 minute “Saturday Night Live” sketch, alternately full and dull.

“ADA” is full of cliches, particularly those found on Lifetime. Sometimes it’s played very straight, other times the movie is a hoot. Imagine if you had enough money and time to make a parody of something no one cares about. That’s “A Deadly Adoption.”

Will plays Robert, a writer of self help books who’s given up heavy drinking. Robert and his wife Sarah have a cute little blonde daughter named Sully (for Capt. Sullenberger maybe?). They live in a sleepy lake town. Sarah has a food stand that she runs with a nice gay guy who’s her bestie. The couple wants a second child, but they can’t have one. So they try to adopt.

The reason they can’t have more kids is the linchpin here, and it’s hilarious: Sarah fell off a rotted pier and miscarried their baby. Robert holds this against her– she should have known the pier was no good. It’s right out of “Mary Hartman” or a Carol Burnett spoof. Yet they read these lines totally straightfaced. Sublime.

Into their lives comes a gorgeous young pregnant girl named Bridgette (the spelling is great). She says she lives in a shelter, but wears designer clothes and looks like a model. It will turn out later she slept with Robert when he was on a book tour and on a bender drinking because of the pier accident. He has totally forgotten her. She’s come for revenge.

What else do you need? Bridgette accidentally smashes a framed photo of the family when she first meets them. There’s sl-mo scenes, dialogue for 2 year olds, and long knowing looks from everyone. None of it makes sense. There’s so much exposition in the third half hour that Ferrell vanishes from the screen. When he saves Wiig from a perils-of-Pauline situation, it’s laugh out loud funny. And that’s nice because the thirty preceding minutes are incredibly dull.

Why was this done? I guess, why not? Will I return to Lifetime? Not in this one. But what the heck.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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