Interesting twist, bad writing, bad acting. Am I to believe the main character's daughter is 16,17? She looks like she is in her 20s. As a "thriller writer" the main character should know to not turn her back on people.
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A recent widow takes what's left of her family to a commune-for-Moms in hopes of a fresh start but once there, uncovers black market human trafficking by the Mommune's corrupt owner and must fight to keep herself and her daughter from becoming the next victims.—Lifetime
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I was yelling at the screen
Life on the Farm
Paige Judson is a bestselling novelist who finds herself in a situation that is tailor-made for one of her thrillers. Suffering grief from the sudden death of her husband, Paige and her daughter Allie enroll in a retreat for grieving widows at a remote location called The Farm. Of course, there are deep, dark secrets at the farm that will imperil the situation of Paige and Allie, possibly even endangering their lives!
The Farm is run by Dianne, the mustache-twirling villain of the piece, who wittily refers to the commune as "The Mommune." Due to her debts, Dianne has diversified her operation by selling the weepy widows and their daughters on the black market. Paige catches on soon to the nefarious antics of Dianne, and the race is on to find a way to escape from what has turned into a prison and holding camp.
A shortcoming of the film was the laboriously slow pacing. The director needed to be riding the actors to pick up the pace and avoid the lengthy pauses between lines. The glacial pace came close to turning the film into a snoozefest if it weren't for an interesting batch of characters incarcerated on The Farm.
The most interesting of the characters was the sensitive mother-daughter team of Tessa and Samantha, who bond with Paige and Allie. Samantha is a skilled lock-picker and Tessa wields a mean knife; those skills eventually come in handy! The character of "Silent Jon" was bit of a stretch when he turned out not to be mute and not the suave gentleman that he appeared to be at first glance.
The narrative design of the film was effective, and the performances were good...if only the dialogue had been accelerated to the way humans actually speak in real life.
VIEWS ON FILM review of Desperate Widows
"It's more like a prison than a farm". Ouch. Does that mean I can't ride the horsey-s?
Anyway, the best Lifetime films brim with conflict, deception, and "had to" murder. They can be B-movie-style, locale challenged, or campy but still effective. Desperate Widows (my latest write-up) is sadly the most disappointing of Lifetime fare. It trades actual uncertainty and suspense for tedious, detailed buildup. And about the title, it's weak. These women personas are not really desperate. They just need well, someone to talk to or be around.
The story of "Widows" involves a woman named Paige (played by Justine Eyre). After her husband's unexpected death, Paige decides to take her daughter and move to a commune for moms (a Mommune is what they call it). Paige discovers that the commune may also be part of a human trafficking ring. For reasons only the director would know, Desperate Widows doesn't really concentrate on the human trafficking element (it just feels like filler towards the end). If it did, the viewer would have a more compelling watching experience.
"Widows" has acting in it that comes off as mediocre and laughably reactionary. There's also an opening flash-forward scene that feels like a loose dead end. Finally, there's Lifetime vet Allison McAtee being underused and underdeveloped as commune owner Dianne. I mean she's the baddie here but we never quite know enough about her to dissuade her evilness.
Girl in the Basement which could chill you to the bone, is my pick for best Lifetime flick so far this year. It's the type of movie that "Widows" wished it could've been. With characters that fade in and out, a narrative that has a weak arc, and an incapability to fear for anyone involved, Desperate Widows is only worthwhile if you're "desperate" to watch something at 4 am when infomercials rule the roost.