11 ways ‘A Deadly Adoption’ was the quintessential Lifetime movie

For months, we heard about it…the thrilling rumors, followed by the denials that it even existed. But the Lifetime movie starring Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig is an actual, real thing. A Deadly Adoption aired last night, and it was every bit as amazing as you imagined.

I am obsessed. I basically haven’t stopped talking about the movie since I finished watching it last night at 1 a.m.. Like most people, I guess I expected A Deadly Adoption to be an outright parody. Kind of a two-hour long SNL sketch. But it wasn’t. At least I don’t think it was. It was better than a parody. It was the Lifetime movie to end all Lifetime movies.

The plot centered around the Benson family: Robert (Will Ferrell), Sarah (Kristen Wiig) and their little girl, Sully, who suffers from diabetes. The Bensons are anxious to add to their not-quite happy family, and end up opening their home to Bridgette, the pregnant mother of the child they intend to adopt. What happens next is what has happened in every other Lifetime movie imaginable. All rolled into one. Things like… [Warning: Spoilers ahead.]

The slo-mo tragedy

The movie opens with a dramatic slow motion scene of a very pregnant Kristen Wiig falling off a dock that Robert, Will Farrell’s character, knew was a rotten, dangerous accident waiting to happen. (Yet he never did anything about it because how else would we get a tragic backstory?) Kristen/Sarah loses the baby, almost dies and somehow is never able to conceive again. Because that’s how near-drownings work on Lifetime.

And guys, we haven’t even gotten to the opening credits yet.

It was based on a ‘true story’


I mean, the words “inspired by a true story” appeared on the screen at some point, as they do during approximately 99.9 percent of Lifetime movies. But the story was completely absurd on so many levels that I find this difficult, if not impossible, to believe. Unless “inspired by” simply means that once there was a pregnant woman. But wait, that wouldn’t apply here since…

The pregnancy was fake (because of course it was)

As with soap operas, precisely fifty percent of pregnancies on Lifetime movies are fake. I might have totally made up that statistic. (I did.) But it happens enough that we sort of saw it coming, especially since Bridgette weirdly rubbed her belly every time she was on screen. She wanted us to think she was giving her unborn child an affectionate pat, but really she was adjusting the big foam pillow under her dress. But the joke’s on Bridgette because we knew. She just didn’t know that we knew. Unless the movie was actually a parody (seriously, please someone answer this question for us!), in which case we knew that she knew that we knew.

Whatever. On Twitter, Lifetime-savvy viewers were calling the fake pregnancy less than 40 minutes in.

The completely insane logic

Where do I even begin? Sarah and Robert’s marriage is on the rocks, so, of course, a baby will fix things. Robert feels guilty because he should have fixed the rotten dock, but he totally blames Sarah for falling and doesn’t think he’ll ever love her again the same way. Bridgette is in love with Robert and ends up shooting him and leaving him for dead. Shall I go on?

Robert’s entire writing career

Will Farrell’s character, Robert Benson, is a well-known author and financial advisor. He Skypes with his agent every day, seems to be in complete control of his own publishing schedule (they’ll get the book when the get it!) and has his publisher begging him (again, daily) to go on fancy, multi-city book tours. He also keeps a bottle of bourbon in his desk drawer, which is the only thing even potentially realistic about his life as a writer.

The bad boyfriend

Bridgette has a boyfriend who keeps popping up around town and we just know he’s bad. The evidence? He drinks beer, eats candy and litters.

The fake personality

Bridgette isn’t who everyone thinks she is. She’s actually a woman named Joni that had a one-night stand with Robert on one of his book tours after he got black-out drunk. Because book events for non-fiction financial advice tomes always end this way. Right?

There’s a kidnapping

Bridgette-now-Joni ends up kidnapping Sully. Of course, she “forgets” Sully’s diabetes medication, even after being reminded every two minutes for the duration of the film of the little girl’s medical condition. Her motivations for the kidnapping change… a couple of times. I’m still not sure why she did it, except that this is a Lifetime movie, so someone needs to get kidnapped. Preferably a child.

The garage door scene

Hands-down, this was the best part of the movie. After Bridgette (who has transformed back into her “actual” persona as bad-Joni, complete with heavy eyeliner, ripped denim mini and tattoos) confronts Sarah at home and pulls a gun on her in the garage, they get into a fight and Bridgette leaves her in the car with the engine running and the garage filling with gas. You get the idea. Why? Because Bridgette/Joni hates Sarah for stealing Robert away from her after their one-night stand. I mean, never mind that Sarah actually had Robert first. Details and all. And never mind that, amazing hair aside, Robert isn’t that great of a catch to begin with. This is a Lifetime movie, so he’s worth killing over.

But Robert, who ends up unconscious on the floor after Bridgette shoots him (seriously, this girl really doesn’t know what she wants), comes to the rescue. He lifts Sarah out of the car and carries her to safety. The dramatic music and the excruciatingly slow open of the garage door is a sight to behold. I had to pause the movie I was laughing so hard.

The Fatal Attraction ending

This movie had so many endings. At one point I thought it was over, but there were still thirty minutes left. After the numerous fake endings that included multiple shootings, Sully knocking repeatedly on death’s door and two dives off a tall bridge, Sarah finally saves the day. It’s very reminiscent of Glenn Close’s demise in Fatal Attraction. So basically, it’s awesome.

The way (way) cray song and dance in the kitchen

Fast forward six months into the future, and the Bensons are a perfectly happy suburban family. I mean, six months is long enough to forget all about Robert’s infidelity, right? Along with the near-death of every single member of the family? Of course it is. Who knew that Sully nearly dying from diabetic shock would be the one thing that would cure Robert of his obsessive worry over her diabetes? But that’s exactly what happened. In fact, the Bensons are so happy that they burst into an impromptu song and dance in the kitchen, complete with Kristen Wiig singing into a wooden spoon. You guys, this scene could have been lifted straight from SNL outtakes. As soon as Will Ferrell busted out his twist moves, I knew with absolutely certainty that the movie was indeed a parody.



(Image via Lifetime.)