(originally published on my defunct blog Anterias)
I was really disappointed to flip to the Lifetime network today only to find I had missed all but 4 minutes of "Alone with a Stranger," described by my on-screen channel guide as: William R. Moses, Barbara Niven (2000) A woman holds identical twins at gunpoint while trying to determine which is her husband and which, his murderous brother. Myst./Susp. [TV-14) D, V [CC]. I turned it on just as the woman had to decide which identical twin not to shoot. The scruffy one ultimately saved himself by saying, 'It's like Lindsey said, 'It's broken, Mommy.'"
Maybe it was the disappointment of missing this gem, or perhaps there is some truth at the only intelligent thing National Enquirer EIC David Perel told me, "Lifetime is like crack for women," but I was soon sucked into the next feature: "What Matters Most."
This movie stars My Two Dads' Chad Allen as a high school basketball player who gets a girl from the wrong side of the tracks pregnant. But they really love each other! You can tell because Chad's character, Lucas, plays the guitar for the girl. She says:"Lucas, you wrote that? It is sooo beautiful." And he replies: "My daddy don't think so."
To be exact, his daddy said (and I quote): "If you think I'm gonna let you go off to college to play the gee-tar like some homo hippie fag, you gotta 'nother thing coming. You're gonna have my grandchillin' and marry some girl, you hear me?"
After the Dad beats Lucas several times and Lucas and his girl have a Zack-and-Kelly's-prom moment and do some bubble-blowing, the young lady (who also happens to be a genius who works at a diner), confesses her news and Lucas proposes.
OK, so at this point I'm about to change the channel, but then Lifetime took ahold of me as~Shock!~in an Everwoodesque plot twist, Lucas gets hurt at a BB-ball game and goes into a coma.
When he awakes, he is unchanged except he walks with a crutch and talks like he has a giant jawbreaker in his mouth. Oh, and he has a baby his father is refusing to admit is his. The movie takes several completely weird and therefore unexpected turns as Lucas tries to kill himself, yells "don't loooook at meeee!" a few times (ok, that was expected), tells his parents he's going to marry the girl they want him to (I guess parents in the South are real keen on their kids getting married at 18), then there's a little switcheroo at the altar and the baby mama marries him instead. You see, it was all a ploy to get around the father's psychotic classism.
At the end of the movie, the Dad that had been beating his son for trying to call the mother of his child and so forth has the baby on his lap and is cooing, "Who's the greatest Grandpa?" And we all learn that it's OK if you brutally beat your child, as long as you allow your wife to drag you away from the wedding procession your crippled son just sprung on you.