Collaborative Blogging, Film Reviews

It’s a Hard Knox Life

Another week, another terrible made for TV movie. I’ll be honest, I think Lovestruck: The Musical deserves a boatload of Emmys in comparison to this week’s film (sorry, Christa, but it’s true!). See Christa’s thoughts on this week’s pick here!

The Film:

Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial in Italy

Where to Watch:

Netflix (US)

The Premise:

Guys. Read the title. This is a Lifetime original movie about the Amanda Knox trial. For murder. In Italy.

The Trailer:

The Uncondensed Version:

Since it’s a Lifetime movie based on a true story, we’ve got our news clips, we’ve got our gorgeous Italian countryside, and we’ve got our Hayden Panettiere with brownish hair and a super hipster-y Italian boyfriend.

a young woman stands next to a man who is wearing a large yellow scarf as they face a police officer
I’m wearing this scarf ironically.

The police arrive at the house Amanda shares with three other students after finding her roommate Meredith’s cellphone.

When the police open the door to Amanda/Meredith’s room, they find Meredith’s body on the floor covered with a blanket. As you probably know since this trial was everywhere, Amanda and Raffaele are about to spend years in prison after being implicated for Meredith’s murder.

However, just two months earlier in Seattle, Amanda is a too cheerful barista who is excited to study abroad in Italy. Her family is throwing her a nice normal going away party, and her sister visits after a few weeks. Amanda advises her sister that in Italy “Everything’s illegal and nothing’s forbidden.” Whoa, Amanda.

Around this time, Amanda moves in with the three students, including Meredith, who is super serious and British and studying all the time. Amanda, on the other hand, is busy picking up Italian Steve Jobs. Their first date basically consists of Raffaele sitting next to Amanda after they make sexy eyes for an extended period, Amanda feeding him a chocolate strawberry, and riding a carousel. He does make risotto, though, thus earning major points on the potential boyfriend front. They bond over having divorced parents and being former victims of bullying in school.

a woman gestures to another young woman as they stand next to a stone wall
This was just not the world’s most screen cap-able movie.

Later, Meredith and Amanda have a minor fight b/c Amanda is apparently a slob. This is going to come back to haunt Amanda, along with her strange/apparently indecent behavior in the wake of the murder: PDAs with her boyfriend, doing cartwheels while at the police station, and going lingerie shopping. Also it’s not great to have the nickname “Foxy Knoxy” when the police are investigating a possible rape and murder.

people gathered in a courthouse all stand and face the judges underneath a large dome depicting figures that represent justice
This is the most beautiful court house I’ve ever seen, though.

Okay, I’m going to skip to the end because seriously, the rest of the movie just goes through virtually every detail of the trial that you can read about in a Newsweek article or…Wikipedia.

For whatever bullshit reason, Amanda receives a 26-year sentence, while Raffaele gets 25.

And, as we know, the conviction goes through all kinds of legal mumbo jumbo before the two are acquitted.

The Critique:

Honestly, it’s really hard to be sarcastic about this movie. I was expecting it to be way more melodramatic or at least involve a crazy conspiracy theory. But noooooooooooooo, Lifetime decided to stick to the facts for once, which makes it really difficult to snark about without being a total asshole.

I did get a bit emotional at the end, but I attribute that to recently binge-watching season 2 of Broadchurch, which is just a sucker punch for the soul. (Coincidentally, Sucker Punch for the Soul was the less successful follow-up series to the Chicken Soup for the Soul books.)

The Rating:

Small Pink PantherSmall Pink PantherSmall Pink Panther 3/5 Pink Panther Heads

I expect more of you, Lifetime. Or possibly less?

Either way, check out Christa’s post here!