A DEADLY ADOPTION

A fat fizzle whose idea seemed better (in our eager anticipation, thanks to a crafty, if not deceptive, marketing campaign) than what got made. But what was the idea? The casting yells comedy. In fact, it’s listed as (Comedy) in Time-Warner Cable’s online show description. But the joke… is that they’re playing it straight. Meta gone nuts. It’s simply, and simplistically, Will Ferrell and Kristin Wiig starring in a typical Lifetime movie — in this case a dumbed-down, clunky knockoff of thrillers like THE HAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE, and SINGLE WHITE FEMALE. The clunkiness may be the satiric point: a way of calling out Lifetime for making crap. If so, that at first seems ungenerous on Ferrell’s part, as producer. But think about that some more, and it throws even greater shame on Lifetime executives for being willing to shit on their product if they can make money doing so. After 20 minutes, deflation set in with growing fear that the deadly serious beginning was not after all a grand setup that would lead to a hard and funny turn. There’s no turn. Three years ago, Ferrell made the brilliantly funny CASA DE MI PADRE, played entirely straight and entirely in gringo-understandable Spanish 101, just like the title. It was hilarious, filled with laughs. More to the point, think of Ferrell and Wiig in the better parts of the 70’s mini-series spoof, IFC’s deadpan THE SPOILS OF BABYLON. Both of those paid off. As for ADOPTION, my advice is to send this baby back. — Jeff Schultz

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