I’ve been meaning to do a Lifetime Movie for a while but I’ve been working two jobs so I had no time. And then Chris recorded every old basketball game ever so the DVR erased my movies. I found this one on demand so I’m going for it despite Teresa telling me it’s crazy. It’s happening. Then we get married next weekend. No big deal.
It starts off looking very scary with a car driving in an alley and the sounds of a lady struggling. Yeah, she’s taped up inside his trunk.
THE MOVIE OPENS.
It’s filmed really weirdly with cars zooming in and then everything pausing while a narrator describes her hot, cool lady friends.
The narrator is named Avery and she’s the one who keeps these two in line, or so she claims.
Chris thinks this movie is trying to look like Clueless and if that’s true it’s failing miserably. At school the kids drive their teacher mad with electronic sounds. They laugh and laugh while Mandy records him very openly on her phone for their hilarious blog.
Then the girls are hanging out and for some reason the blonde immediately says “check out this site- beautiful and lovely brides.com” as teen girls do.
They read the profiles and laugh and laugh. Man, these girls are so cool and funny. They are shocked by how many men can’t find women who will actually talk to them- Mandy says they should feel bad for these girls because they don’t know what they’re getting into. She’s correct but also hasn’t heard about how many of these things scam sad, lonely people out of their money. The blonde’s butt cheeks are completely hanging out of her shorts in this scene.
The blonde one drops the bomb that she created a fake profile on the website in order to trap some sad, lonely men and put it up on their blog that is VERY popular. The most annoying thing about their really cool and very popular blog is that no one knows they do it* but man, once people realize it’s them they’re going to be so popular. They’re counting on it! They finish the profile. *remember this later.
Some guy sits alone in a blue room already taken with this profile. Meanwhile, a guy knocks on his door looking for a prostitute but he has to tell the dude that the prostitute lives across the street but he looks so pained telling him that for some reason and we see his pained face for like 30 solid seconds so it must be important and foreshadowing something.
The girls sit around exchanging gifts because they’re such close friends they just exchange gifts all the time in their pajamas. They get a reply to their profile and mock what a loser this guy is- a computer programmer?? How gross! What a geek. They giggle and giggle but Avery seems bored by it all because she’s the mature friend, remember. They respond to him and I can already envision their future episode of Catfish.
His profile photos are pretty normal and he looks like a regular guy.
They message and message and it just scrolls across the screen like a much less well made version of Catfish.
He makes really weird faces while messaging.
In case it’s unclear at this point- this movie is really terrible. Not funny terrible, just very broad overacting and characters that are already confusing and in the guy’s house nothing is white balanced. Just wanted to clarify!
Then he plucks out a very very bad and slow version of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy on guitar for her. In the messaging Kaley is pretending she can’t speak english which is pretty gross. He pulls his car over while driving to read new messages from her.
Meanwhile, the teacher catches Kaley on the phone and takes it away from her so I guess she won’t be faux flirting anymore today.
Avery tries to tell her that she spends too much time working on the blog but Kaley doesn’t want to stop- it’s her THING, jeez Avery.
At a bar the dude from the blue room tells his friend that he has a girlfriend now but she’s too busy to hang out right now. The friend is a nerdy Asian guy who is legitimately thrilled for his friend. He shows a picture of her and the friend is very impressed and says he should bring her to the company party.
The prostitute from across the street comes over to remind Johnny (the main guy is named Johnny) that she got a package for him by accident and he never came to pick it up- why not bring it over? It’s a small box. He goes over there and she is SUPER AGRESSIVE about seducing him while he looks terrified.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA, prostitutes don’t fool you into entering their homes and then pounce on you. You know, innocent men just walking around TRYING to ignore the prostitutes everywhere but they end up tricked into going to them- that’s the classic tale of prostitutes. EYE ROLL.
Meanwhile, at home he’s messaging his girlfriend about coming to visit to go to his office party with him and might send them $830+$600 to make this happen. Kaley is all “this will make us the most popular website in the country!” What? It will? How?
“This movie is already terrible”- Chris.
Chris thinks that he already sent the money but I have no idea. He throws out his girly mags because he has a girlfriend coming to visit now so he’s cleaning up I guess. He keeps staring across the street at the prostitute who is just sitting in her window staring back at him.
He’s at the airport so I guess that was fast and she’s already flying in from the Philippines.
The girls are also at the airport but they don’t seem to know why they’re there. Then Kaley points out Johnny is there to meet his bride “Diwata” and both Mandy and Avery tell her she’s being shitty and this is mean (but Mandy seemed to know it was happening). They didn’t realize that she told him she was on a flight right now. She is all “THIS WILL BE SO GREAT FOR THE BLOG!” They both tell her she sucks but she’s all “I didn’t come this far to let you guys get in my way” and so Mandy one walks over and starts taping him waiting with flowers and a sign on her phone.
Avery tells Kaley she’s being very shitty and the blonde says she’s doing this on behalf of “all the women on that site” because he’s gross and no one would even kiss him but he thinks he deserves to buy some lady who looks like a model. Avery says that she’s become obsessed with the blog and isn’t a nice person anymore. Kaley “Well my 3,238 followers disagree” like she’s the person who started Facebook or something. This site gets way more hits than that in a month and I think I’m going to start bringing up those numbers any time anyone doesn’t agree with me- well, my 3000 readers beg to differ!
Avery leaves in a cab because she’s pissed. Mandy asks what’s going on and they leave while Johnny is standing there looking very confused- but he does notice them arguing loudly at some point.
Avery’s mom wonders why she took a cab home and she says she and Kaley got into a fight about a blog and her mom pretends to care.
Johnny is at home freaking out and smashing his flowers and sweating.
Then he has an epiphany and goes into full Catfish mode. He finds the real picture belongs to someone who died in 2010. WHAT!
Then he does some of his computer programming to find some computery code info that leads him to none other than… KALEY! Who he remembers being annoying at the airport.
And then he finds her super popular blog where the new post is up- “Dork Finds Out Internet Bride is Fake!” He’s rightfully hurt and angry.
*Okay, sidenote- remember when they were all “too bad no one knows it’s our blog” but then we see the blog and its header is full color pictures of their faces? How do people not know? Most of their “pranks” take place at their school so I assume people who go to their school are the main people reading it.
Now he’s webstalking all three friends over Facebook and using the fake foursquare to track where they’re going via check ins.
Avery looks really cool at a skate park where everyone is doing lame tricks- Chris is HORRIFIED by the quality of skating in the background.
Mandy apologizes about the prank going too far and Avery asks why she went along with her? Mandy says she’s the reason they’re popular and “it’s hard being the fat kid who brings kim chi in her lunch.” Please tell me she’s talking about her past and that we’re not supposed to think that she’s currently a “fat kid.”
Johnny is there watching Avery and Mandy chat, looking more and more annoyed. Avery tells her that this blog isn’t going to make them famous.
Johnny is at home and some guy named Nick comes over and it’s very awkward like they’ve never met before.
Nick says it’s going to be $200 and he gets paid. He starts getting undressed. Johnny is all “I’m not gay” and this pro has heard that before but says that’s okay. He says he wants to play a joke on his niece. What kind of joke do you play on your niece that requires a male prostitute?
Kaley apologizes for the “whole airport thing” and says their friendship is more important than the stupid blog. In the background we see the gay hustler Nick walk in and start chatting them up.
Haley falls for it completely because of his arms.
Mandy gives him her number too and Kaley shoots her some side eye. Kaley then says “Avery is having a party this weekend! You should come!” but Avery is not having a party this weekend. She keeps telling them this but something tells me they’re not listening.
Nick gets in to Johnny’s car and gives him the phones with the numbers on it.
Next scene, Johnny is texting with Kaley as if he’s Nick and the tables have officially turned. She’s so excited that he’ll be coming to her party on Saturday.
At Avery’s they eat chips and talk about playing a joke for the blog tonight at the party- but Kaley promises a nice one this time. Avery is still saying there isn’t a party but come on, there is booze and chips and obviously a party is happening. She says “as long as the joke isn’t on Trevor” who may be her boyfriend? Whoever he is, he thinks Kaley sucks and I’m starting to think Trevor is the most reasonable person in this movie.
As time goes on Johnny seems to be sleeping less and less and looking more and more like a hobo. He finds a gun and a some string and stuff and packs it into his duffle bag because this is the day he’s apparently been waiting for his whole life.
They’re at this party, which is clearly happening, but very verrrrry quietly and Kaley is pissed because Nick never showed. Avery tells her to text him but she doesn’t want to look desperate. She then texts him though so I guess she got over that- and he asks her to meet him at the skate park. Mandy tells her not to go because she doesn’t even know this guy and he could be a rapist or murderer- “You can’t rape the willing!” she giggles. #ugh #nope #shutup
She convinces Mandy to leave with her and Johnny watches them leave and then follows them to Skate Lab.
They walk in and despite it not closing for 10 minutes it’s completely dark and deserted and weird. Mandy says that she thinks someone may be playing a joke on her and walks out to wait in the car. Kaley waits around for some reason.
While Mandy is outside waiting at the car Johnny walks up and beans her with something and drags her back to his car. Kaley gets back to her car and is confused about where Mandy is. She texts her and meanwhile a security guard drives up all “the skate park is closed” so great going on the whole not noticing a kidnapping thing that just happened. Mandy texts back that she went home.
She chirps “you can get back to your donut now” as the security guard drives off. SWEET BURN.
At Avery’s party she gets a call from a neighbor who is annoyed about the noise despite this being a very quiet party so she kicks everyone out. Kaley gets back and wonders where Mandy is and then is super annoyed because she assumes that Mandy went home with Nick because she’s “such a bitch” anyway.
You are such a great friend, Kaley!
Kaley asks where Trevor is and he’s passed out in Avery’s bed. She’s all “don’t worry, I’ll kick him out” despite no one asking her to. She goes in and pours water down Trevor’s crotch and then takes pictures like he wet his pants and laughs. He wakes up angry- surprise! Avery says that Kaley doesn’t even understand what she did wrong in the first place so she doesn’t want to be friends with her anymore- she doesn’t understand that she’s become a shitty person. Kaley is all “great because I don’t want to be friends with you anymore either, you aren’t even fun!”
Whomever wrote this script just decided to make Kaley terrible and then go wayyyyy off the rails so that none of these friendships make any sense at all.
Johnny asks Mandy why they played that trick on him and she admits that she doesn’t really know but it was Kaley’s idea (niceeeeee, throw your friend under the bus immediately) and she thought it would be funny.
She totally lies with the “we didn’t mean to hurt you” line and it’s like come on, you did it 100% to hurt him. That was the whole point. He reminds her of that.
Kaley is at home watching tv and where are her parents? Wasn’t the point of having the party at Avery’s because her mom was out of town? Stupid effing movie. He sits outside with his laptop and disables their nest-like system with his computer programming skills. It’s so so stupid.
Chris has deemed this “the worst Lifetime Movie I’ve ever seen. This is just crap.” He’s not wrong. It’s so bad and not even in a fun way.
He gets into the house and she’s all “I’ll give you back the money!” when he pulls the gun on her. “JUST DON’T HURT ME!” she begs. He tells her all she cares about is herself and promptly puts her in his trunk. For a computer programmer this guy is very strong.
She gets to wherever it is that he keeps hostages and Mandy tells her this is all her fault because of her stupid blog and instead of saying anything or apologizing she’s all “where are we, jeez?”
Mandy’s parents call Avery in the morning in a panic because she never came home and Kaley isn’t answering. The police come and Avery tells them about Nick and the Skate park and she even has a photo that he’s in the background of magically.
Then, he promptly kidnaps Avery just after she leaves the cops. He is so swift at getting teenaged girls into his trunk.
He brings up that this was all Kaley’s idea, Mandy told him so. Kaley is PISSED. She tells Mandy to shut up. Avery says that they didn’t mean to hurt anyone at first, they wanted to see what the men replying were like. She is able to keep it cool in this situation because she is the mature, cool friend remember. He tells them they’re the beautiful people so they wouldn’t get it.
He’s obviously being played by a normal looking guy with greasy hair so I don’t know why they didn’t cast a weirder looking dude if they’re going to do long speeches of him complaining about being a hideous freak.
Kaley’s mom calls Avery’s mom in a panic because their security system is down and she’s gone. Avery is also gone! Mom panic assemble!
A detective puts shards of old grass into a bag. Check out Sherlock Holmes over here. *spoiler alert- this will never come up again or be important in any way
Johnny says he wants to teach these girls a lesson to show them the harm that they can cause (Chris gags and says “this guy is unbearable, I can’t stand him, I can’t stand the way he looks, ugh.” Chris would love it if he just died right now and the credits rolled)
Chris is totally right, I went from feeling badly for this guy to being so bored by him. Kaley spits on him and calls him stupid and ugly because she might truly be the dumbest. Avery tries to diffuse things again by saying that when she saw him at the airport she felt bad for him and he says “so bad that you put the video online for the whole world to see?” and touche.
Kaley, continues, “what, are you going to sleep with us now? Do you want to have sex with something other than your hand for once??”
Oh god, he goes on a tirade about how American women want so much, they think they should have everything but in other countries women are grateful for everything you give them and they love you for your personality and not for your looks. HAHAHAHAHA, okay. Also, his personality is arguably 100x worse than his looks so he’d be so doomed if he was correct. Kaley laughs about what a loser he is and he says he would have treated her like a queen. HE WOULD HAVE TAKEN HER DANCING!
Avery lies and says he’ll make a great husband someday and he asks if that’s what she’s looking for. I assume he asks if she’s single as soon as the edit cuts.
The detective talks to Avery’s mom. Mom tells her about Avery and Kaley fighting a lot lately about some blog prank.
Johnny talks on the phone to someone about “bringing all three tonight.”
Kaley is so annoyed that Mandy won’t stop crying- “I hate you so much right now” she says to her crying friend who may be about to get murdered. Kaley might be a sociopath and that would be a better movie than this- make that movie instead! Avery says she won’t go down without a fight and Kaley says she’ll rip out his throat- “Then why didn’t you do that when he showed up at your house?” – Chris, who hates her too.
The detective finds that the blog has been taken offline. She looks worried. Or maybe she’s puzzled about how the internet works.
He puts them in his car and says they’re in for a life very different than what they had planned and is he going to sell them into human trafficking? That’s what it sounds like.
He arrives with these shitty dudes who are here to take the girls. He is all “wait, where’s the money?” and the guy pulls a gun on him and says he’s lucky they’re letting him live so clearly there will be no money. A car pulls up on them and so the traffickers take off with just Kaley. Johnny leaves with the other two.
He takes them back to his abandoned warehouse and locks Mandy up again. When he’s bringing Avery in she does fight back, as promised, but she also loses.
They’re back to being locked up.
Mandy is confused about how he could sell them and Avery has to inform her about what sex trafficking is. Mandy is shocked.
Johnny runs home with his arm all bloody from when Avery slashed him and the prostitute who is always spying on him notices something is up. She comes over with another package. Jeez, Amazon, get your shit together.
The prostitute is played by the worst actor in this movie and that’s saying a lot. She says that she’ll take him to the doctor when she see’s his bloody arm and he’s all “I CAN’T GO TO THE DOCTOR!” because he’s really smooth and cool under pressure. She tells him she has friends who will help him because prostitution is a crime so she must know lots of criminals.
For some reason he opens up to this prostitute and says “I need to find someone who can get rid of two girls.” She is all “kill them?” and he clarifies to sell them. He tries to explain to her how the “underground web” works and it’s so stupid I can’t take it. He says he’ll split the money with her. She knows someone. I’m surprised this lady would be cool with forcing teenagers into prostitution but she seems to play by her own set of rules and also spends most of her time staring out her window so who knows.
She goes home and grabs her own gun and just puts her purple sweatshirt hood up on her head so now she’s incognito I guess.
The detective talks to Nick and he knows so little but he does still have his address.
Johnny and the prostitute arrive and after he unlocks Mandy the prostitute puts a gun to her throat…. but then she shoots Johnny and frees them! Oh, but wait, he turns around and shoots the prostitute. Man, she was such a weird character. RIP strangely aggressive prostitute who tried to help the girls.
They grab her gun but run out without shooting him again so even though he’s hurt pretty badly he still chases them. They hide and call 911 on what I believe is the prostitute’s phone. They have to be quiet when he runs near them.
For some reason the 911 dispatcher tells the detective and then forwards the call to her and then the detective puts her mom on the phone- um, they’re still in front of the damn kidnapper. Stop passing the phone around and dispatch some cars please! Now the dispatcher has more questions about their location, oh my god.
Johnny seems to start dying again. He pulls out his phone to look at the love of his life one last time.
“Some dead woman who died 5 years earlier.” – Chris, ice cold.
They escape. He dies thinking of playing his stupid classical guitar. “Shoot yourself. If I was ever rooting for someone to die it’s this guy.” There is a shot so I assume Chris got what he was hoping for.
By the way, when I took my grandma to see Les Mis a few years ago she hated Russell Crowe so much that when he was singing about his meaningless life she chanted “jump, jump, jump” in a movie theater so Chris will fit into my family jussssssst fine.
The detective questions Avery in the hospital about where Kaley went- but it is like 2 questions and she doesn’t wait for an answer.
It’s been 7 months and no one has seen or heard from Kaley. “The dark net” comes up again and it’s still cringey.
The movie tries to send up how the media acts after something terrible happens but they only show like 1 person being interviewed so it makes no sense. Avery also says that somehow the media never said anything about them fooling him or the blog post which would never, in a million years, happen so whatever.
She is all “maybe if Kaley hadn’t done what she did she’d be here now.” Oh good, a little blaming the victim on the way out.
Chris- “That was horrible. Why did you do this to me?”
Two things. Firstly, people are scammed on mail order bride sites all the time so this girl wasn’t blowing the lid off of anything. If anything, she was really naive. Secondly, Catfishing is a popular thing that has its own show and movie so again, not new territory. This movie acted like both of these things don’t already exist. I’m glad it’s over.