Lionsgate // 2005 // 94 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // August 25th, 2006
Til death do they part.
Fatal Attraction meets...well...Fatal Attraction in this tale of a psycho woman infatuated with her brother-in-law.
Linda Purl plays Laci Collins, a disturbed woman who comes to the aid of her grieving brother-in-law Richard (Linden Ashby, Mortal Kombat) after his wife dies in a car wreck. Laci helps around the house, consoles Richard and looks after his two pain-in-the-butt kids. The longer she stays with the family, the more attached she becomes to the household, and her commitment turns into psychosis: it is her family and Richard is her man.
Things get loopy when Richard proposes marriage to his girlfriend Nicole (Shannon Sturges). She accepts, and the happy couple begins to lay plans for their wedding. This doesn't sit well with Laci, who's flown completely off the deep end. She works behind the scenes to disrupt the wedding, poisoning the kids with lies about their new possible stepmother, planting doubts in Richard's head and generally being a disagreeable harpy.
But when Richard and Nicole soldier forward with their plans, Laci gets desperate, and wields some violence. Now the family is faced with some real danger as Laci goes on the warpath, willing to kill for her delusions.
Maid of Honor is a made-for-TV movie that annoyed me. It was just a tedious bore, from beginning to end, sporting zero suspense and a main character that was as grating as any I've ever seen. As you can tell by the above plot synopsis, the story is boilerplate femme fatale claptrap. There is nothing new or interesting in this film. It all starts with the character of Laci, played as crazy-eyed and scowl-ridden as possible by Purl. The filmmakers obviously want to transmit menace and unhinged lunacy with her, but the brutal truth is that Laci is just a pathetic and profoundly irritating wacko. She cries a lot when she's alone, she rubs Richard's fiancée's engagement ring all over her face, she talks trash to the kids, she grimaces a lot, and, then, at the end, she screams real loud and waves around a kitchen knife. Some flashbacks are intertwined with the plot to showcase Laci's tortured past, especially her violent relationship with her bedridden mother, but nothing of interest is revealed here. By this time, it's been made quite clear that Laci is insane in the membrane, and as a result, her arc is one-dimensional and unsatisfying; the only question we as an audience ask only this question: so how crazy does she get?
Well, she gets real crazy, and the crescendo ends in the predictable final showdown with the fiancée. By now, though, Laci has so pissed me off, I was desperate for a fulfilling send-off, like she gets thrown into a combine like Dolph Lundgren in Universal Soldier. Too bad the ending is anticlimactic and Laci goes out like a punk and really who gives a @#$% anyway?!
I got no love for this movie, another uninspired psycho-girl knock-off as predictable as it is irritating. And no matter how badly Lions Gate wants you to believe that Maid of Honor is a horror movie with its knife-dripping-blood disc cover illustration, don't believe it: this is merely a Lifetime movie armed with a rarely-used pointy kitchen utensil.
Bare cupboard treatment for this: full frame, stereo, no extras. The usual.
I didn't like Maid of Honor. It was boring and derivative. I would rather shadowbox with my housecat.
Leave this one at the altar.
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Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 94 Minutes
Release Year: 2005
MPAA Rating: Not Rated