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Saturday, August 14, 2021

Death She Wrote 2021 * * 1/2 Stars


"I'm just a huge fan". Uh-oh, creep-o alert. The huge fan is Mary Malone and she is played pretty effectively by Paula Brancati. Paula's Malone is a real spazz. I mean you dislike her just by eye alone. 

Brancati and Samora Smallwood (as Lila DeMarco) star in 2021's Death She Wrote. Death She Wrote is I suppose a nod to the TV show Murder, She Wrote. Be that as it may, the flick is more like 1990's Misery than anything else. 

Death She Wrote is a Lifetime movie that at first, gets a few things wrong. It's about a famous author who hires a kooky fangirl to be her personal assistant. Here's the wrong part: Mary Malone is cray cray right off the bat and should have never been booked the job in the first place. It's way too obvious putting Death She Wrote on complete autopilot for the first hour. The other wrong part is the Lila DeMarco character who is completely oblivious to Malone's kookiness. And do writers and/or novelists really need personal assistants? I'm a writer (last time I checked) and I don't need anyone holding my darn hand. Again autopilot. 

Death She Wrote despite its annoying audience self-evidence, does sneak up on you in the second and third act. The Malone persona is proof of that as she becomes the millennial version of Annie Wilkes. Mary Malone wants to be Lila DeMarco, wants to keep Lila sedated in her house, and ultimately wants to off Lila. Malone is a social media hacker and a guileful smother-er. In other words she's a real piece of work. 

Bottom line: Death She Wrote has some tense moments and for the most part, builds quite nicely. But the crazy Malone shows her true colors so early you want to throw popcorn at everyone who is unaware of her "look at me" chemical imbalance. Heck, I almost "wrote" this film off. Natch.

Written by Jesse Burleson  

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