A Deadly Adoption: A Spot-On ‘Parody’ of the Lifetime Genre

Where do I even begin to explain what A Deadly Adoption is? I suppose for one to really understand what it is, they would have had to have seen a Lifetime movie already. I haven’t seen a whole lot of Lifetime movies, but basically they always revolve around its characters struggling with elaborate moral dilemmas. Lifetime movies are, to me at least, quite hilarious, in that they take themselves so seriously. They’re the kind of things you can put on with a bunch of friends and laugh at how serious they are. That being said, there isn’t much humour in the movies themselves.

I think that it is for that reason that this movie is rated so poorly on IMDb (as of right now, the rating is at 5.3/10). I can’t even begin to imagine the amount of people who saw this movie and thought “Oh yeah, Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig are back! This is going to be just like Anchorman!” To those people, I’m sure they were met with much disappointment, because just like real Lifetime movies, A Deadly Adoption does not have any jokes in it, and the actors take themselves quite seriously. In fact, the funniest part about the movie is the fact that it was made by Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig. I’m not sure calling it a parody quite does it justice, because Ferrell and Wiig deliver some very serious performances. The humour lies in the fact that the roles are played so seriously.

A Deadly Adoption really is just another Lifetime movie. It involves struggles with moral issues such as seduction, lying, alcoholism, and dealing with traumatic experiences. The story follows a husband and wife (played by the SNL alumni) and their daughter. In a traumatic accident on a dock, Wiig’s character, pregnant at the time, falls into the water, resulting in the death of her baby. The family is torn apart, and famous writer Robert Benson (Ferrell) goes through five dark years. Things change, however, when Bridgette, a pregnant girl looking to give her child up for adoption (who is, of course, gorgeous – enter the moral dilemmas about seduction). I won’t spoil anything else about the movie, but those who have seen a Lifetime movie already could probably guess most of the plot.

As a film, A Deadly Adoption is a well-made Lifetime movie. I can’t really fault the absurdity of the story, because it’s quite genius. It’s surprisingly well filmed and directed (as far as Lifetime movies go), and the music is so hilariously serious, brooding, and perfect. I would not rate this movie highly on its own however (because it really is as cheesy as any Lifetime movie out there), but the fact that it was made, for lack of a better word, ironically, I found it to be quite brilliant.

With this new entry, Will Ferrell has continued on his quest to leave no genre un-parodied (see Casa de mi Padre for a similar experience). He and Wiig have created a movie that I can’t say I’ve seen the likes of in a long time. Wiig’s performance was not too surprising, because her career is currently at a high note, but it was nice to see that Ferrell still has the ability to look at things through a smart comedic lens, and create something of this calibre.

Would I recommend this movie to people? Absolutely. But first, I would recommend that they watch another Lifetime movie first, or at least that they familiarize themselves with the genre, so they can understand why I would give A Deadly Adoption… an A.

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