Love You To Death (2019 Lifetime)

Love You to Death (2019 Lifetime)

Stars: Marcia Gay Harden, Tate Donovan & Emily Skeggs

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Synopsis (via Lifetime)

Inspired by a true story, “Love You to Death” is a shocking tale of a mother and daughter who are nothing like they seem, their tumultuous relationship ending in a brutal murder. Camile (Oscar® winner Marcia Gay Harden, “50 Shades” features, “Code Black,” “Point Blank”) and Esme (Emily Skeggs, “Miseducation of Cameron Post,” “Mile 22”) are well-known in their community – Esme as the sickly, child-like wheelchair-bound daughter, and Camile as the perfect caretaker and mother. They seem a perfect pair until Camile is found stabbed to death in her home, and Esme has vanished, believed to be kidnapped by the killer. But when Esme is found, a terrible secret emerges. Esme was not kidnapped. Instead, she ran away with her boyfriend (Brennan Keel Cook) after working with him to murder Camile. More than that, Esme is perfectly healthy, mentally and physically, and has been a victim of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy, forced to believe she was ill by her controlling, abusive mother.uncover.


Joplin Missouri 2013, the police show up to a house. The house is torn apart. Pill are everywhere things are overturned like a robber has taken place. In the back bedroom there is blood all over the floor and a body is found.

Next, we get the opening credits interspersed with photos of (Marcia Gay Harden who will from now on be referred to as MGH) and her sickly daughter… They look like a happy mother and daughter, minus the cancer part.

2013, Esme (The sick daughter) is getting treated by the doctors. She is afraid of shots and Camille (MGH) soothes her. She tells doctor that she doesn’t understand why God would do this to them. She is happy however to take everyone’s thoughts, prayers, and sympathy gifts.  She studies medical videos and talks to the pharmacist to inform herself on her daughter’s “treatment”.

While shopping for hats, Travis, Esme’s dad shows up. Camile (MGH) is PISSED about it and tells him to leave them alone. He apparently called his daughter retarded and tried to kidnapp her when she was young. MGH recants this while she is smoking in the house. (Not cool, MGH) Also, MGH is wearing a fat suit, which is rude and unnecessary. The costumer for this film should get a talking too, because she took some liberties.

Things get interesting when a new (black, thank you Lifetime.) doctor checks the dosages. He orders new x rays and is getting to the bottom of things. He is suspicious the MGH.

The random neighbors are planning on bringing Esme to a video game convention. They bring over a blue wig for her to wear. Esme is 17 and wants to go, but her mom will not have it. Esme is her baby girl and MGH will not have her going to some “sex convention”. The neighbors convince her that it will be PG a most and MGH agrees to it and even makes Esme a costume. She, of course,  joins them at the convention. Esme goes to use the bathroom by herself and she ditches her mom. MGH freaks out and have everyone looking for Esme. They find her and a man is with her and runs away. I guess things did get more than PG.

The next day MGH pawns a watch in exchange for a gun to protect her daughter. MGH also protects her daughter from the black doctor (He was treating her? But, when MGH sees him touching Esme, she loses it.) She makes a scene in the office and tells him to never touch her daughter again. Later, someone attempts to break into Esme room and MGH chases after them and shoots the car as it drives away.

MGH has a nightmare, she is yelling “Esme” and is in a back alley, when she makes it to the chair Esme is gone. MGH wakes up and looks around the house and is attacked by the front door.

We shift to Esme’s perspective. Flash to 2005 and we little Esme (Esmeralda from the Hunchback.) The doctors tells MGH that she might have been misdiagnosed and Esme is well enough to be walking. MGH isn’t having it and they move to Joplin to start treatment over with a new set of doctors. Esme is up and walking at knock off costco “Price $ave” and MGH is not having it. She tells her to sit her ass down and then works the manager for free food.

Back to teenage Esme, MGH cuts her hair and tapes down her breasts to make her looks sick. Everything about Esme sickness is meticulously planned by MGH. Esme goes along with it because she is brainwashed or pressured by her mom, it is insane. I feel so bad for her.

Maybe I don’t feel so bad because, Esme is in on the con maybe? She gets a laptop for her birthday and starts communicating with her dad. Esme demands to see her father and literally stands up to her mother.

At a lunch date with her father and his new wife. Esme meets a sketchy ass boy in the arcade He wins her all the tickets and gets her a toy with them, he also writes his screen name on one of the tickets for Esme to get in touch with him. MGH is very suspicious of him, his name turns out to Scott and they begin talking online. Like “I want to touch u” stuff.

The black doctor tells them that they have found no bad cells and he can’t understand the symptoms that MGH is describing. He asks MGH to leave so he can talk to Esme alone. It turns out the old doctor was let go for over prescribing medication. The doctor gets Esme alone. He wants her to be honest. He lays it all out for her, he tells her that her mother maybe be making her think she is sick because her mother just wants attention. Esme has a breakdown and MGH comes to her rescue again.

Esme takes a milk bath the calm down and then tells MGH that she doesn’t believe her anymore. MGH tells Esme that she is sick and then slaps the shit out of her and almost chokes her for saying that she hates her. MGH does some praying and tells Esme that they need to be there for eachother. (as she duct tapes her to her chair!?!?!)

MGH keeps Esme taped up in her chair until she relents control and promises never talk to her like that again. Esme promises to behave and apologizes.

Back at the convention we see Esme in the bathroom. Scott comes and takes her away. He tells her that he has been thinking naughty things about her and she has too. He touches her boobs in public?!?! Esme tells Scott that he is her prince and makes him promise that he will come rescue her. He shows her his viking tattoo and promises to be with her forever, like the vikings who took over the world. (IDK) They kiss and before he goes he cuts off a lock of her wig? (IDK, again!)

When they get home MGH smashes Esme’s computer with a hammer and throws it on the ground. That won’t keep Scott away, he is in Esme’s room and exits in a hurry and breaks the window. He was the intruder!!!!!

Esme has a burner phone and arrange for Scott to come get her. She packs her bags, puts on a bra, and her con costume. She is about to make her escape when Scott is at the front door, he attacks MGH and Esme runs to the bathroom while a struggle takes place. MGH is screaming for her life and then it is silent Scott comes for Esme and they leave the house together. Scott killed MGH!?!?! WTF!?!?!

They ride off together and Esme enjoys her freedom. She puts her feet on the windshield. Ewwww! Then they both put their heads outside of the car windows. This is dangerous, maybe she need MGH to keep her on the straight and narrow. Esme is not okay and she throws up outside a gas station once she realizes what she has done.. A woman is very concerned but Scott tells her that it is okay. Esme misses her momma.

Esme doesn’t miss her momma too long. They chug vodka and we get a sex scene in a  cheap motel with lots of thrusting and strong male backs. They then go play on a playground in slow motion. (Esme is in a blonde wig now.) Next, they swim in a pool in the rain. All of this is supposed to Esme’s freedom and how she is kind lost without her mom, I guess.

The police find them and hold them at gunpoint. Esme and Scott scream for each other in a very comical way:



Later, in jail, Esme is offered a plea deal. She is being tried as an adult because she is not 17… she is actually 21. He dad visits her in jail and tells her that someday she will fly. I guess some day she will.

Side Note

Marcia Gay Harden won Best Actress in a Supporting Role Pollock in 2001.

Gypsy Rose Blanchard is serving a 10 year sentence. She will be released from jail when she is 32.

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Overall rating

🔪🔪🔪🔪   (4 Knives)

🍷🍷🍷🍷 (4 glasses of wine required)

*Photo Credit: © 2019 Lifetime


  1. Movie was good, but distressing Part of the time they spoke so low, I could not hear what they were saying. Marcia Gay Harden is a good actress. I think the girl was brain washed and hope she can have treatment and be released fro prison.

  2. Good review, Patrick! I saw this movie recently and I thought it was one of Lifetime’s better films. However, if this movie hadn’t stated what year the film’s events were taking place in, I honestly would have thought this story took place in the 1990s, based on the wardrobe of some of the characters. But I was vaguely familiar with this film’s story because I had heard about a documentary that was made about the real-life mother and daughter. I also recently saw a commercial for a Hulu production about this story called “The Act”.

    I know this has nothing to do with your review. But since you’ve talked about Hallmark movies on your blog before, you should definitely check out the Gold Sally Awards on my blog! The first two polls started on February 9th and all of the nominations are Hallmark movie related. Here is the link to the first two polls:

    1. Yes, Hulu is doing a movie on this case too. I will be interested to see their take on it.

      I love awards, what a great idea! I will be sure to vote. Thank you, as always, for sharing your thoughts.

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