The Wrong Cheerleader (2019 Lifetime)
Synopsis (via Lifetime)
Becky (Cristine Prosperi, Degrassi) is an intelligent and sociable high school senior that flies heavily under the radar when it comes to receiving attention from the boys of her school. However, this is the year it all flips around when she tries out and earns a uniform on the cheerleader squad lead by Ms. Flynn (Vivica A. Fox, Independence Day). Becky’s life is heading in the right direction when she catches the eye of the charming and handsome new student, Rob (David Meza, The Wrong Roommate). Rob seems like the ideal boy, until his affection turns into obsession and he stops at nothing to keep Becky all to himself.
A teen girl is going through a breakup and getting harassed with ghost calls. She is home alone in the middle of the day, as most teens are. A person in a hoodie is lurking around her house. The teen hears them and hides under her bed. The person in a hoodie grabs her, and we get the title card.
Jen and Becky are leaving the locker room when Jen thinks someone is following her and freaks out. Coach Ms. Vivica A Fox comes to the rescue and investigates the situation. She has pepper spray and advocates for the girls to get their own. Since she is a coach, Ms. Vivica A Fox also tells the girls to step it up at tryout because they’ve got a big season ahead.
The man in the hoodie is lurking around the high school. Including at cheerleader tryouts, which features the same bazaar Christina Aguilera knock-off music as the other Cheer, Rally, Kill movies. This may be the least impressive cheerleading to ever appear in a TV movie. Becky’s try out routine is filmed entirely in a midshot, so we can’t see her footwork. What sells it is Ms. Vivica A Fox’s reactions. She looks on in horror and disgust. (Just like me!)
Becky makes the team and tells her disturbingly plastic faced mother. Her mom disapproves but still loves her. (though we don’t know by her facial expressions.) Some who are excited for her is Jen, her BFF, and also…. Rob, a new transfer student. Rob is totally the guy in the hoodie and looks like he has some breakouts from steroids. Jen (and her boyfriend Chris) sets the two up on a pizza date. On their date, we learn that Becky’s dad is not in the picture.
Later, Rob has his shirt off, and he makes out with Becky on a tennis court. They are officially a couple now. Rob follows her around in his hoodie, just like the teen at the beginning of the movie. Rob gets aggressive with a creep who is trying to look up Becky’s skirt. (In this instance I am with Rob and so is Ms. Vivica A Fox.)
We get a guy locker room scene where Rob fights with his teammates while they all have their shirts off. Chris breaks up the fight and tries to smooth things over, but Rob quits the team. Chris tells Jen that he thinks Rob is psycho and could be abusive. Jen tells Chris that Becky is too smart to get into an abusive relationship. The couple decided to look into Rob’s past at his other school. Jen learns that he was abusive in his past relationship. (Yeah, we know!)
Jen sits with Becky and tells her what she learned. Becky doesn’t take it well and really turns it around on Jen. Becky accuses Jen of being jealous and calls her a bitch. (Which is genuinely out of line!) Of course, Rob overhears this whole exchange. This conversation does place doubts in Becky’s mind, and she brings it up to Rob. It doesn’t go well. Rob yells as her and threatens her friends.
The next day Rob puts flowers on Becky’s car and apologizes. He tells her that his dad was abusive, and his mom was an alcoholic. Rob used to be an alcoholic, too, at the age of 13. Becky is the only good thing in his life, and he is so grateful to have her. She forgives him, despite everything Jen told her.
Jen doubles down and tells Becky she is in over her head. She advises her to ask Rob to get professional help. Becky turns things around on Jen AGAIN and tells her that she is jealous. It is so disheartening to see these two young women going in on each other. Jen calls Becky’s mom and tells her that she is worried.
Becky’s mom tries her best to handle her daughter. They sit down for dinner, and between sips of wine, the mother tells her daughter that her father was an alcoholic too. He was abusive and actually died in a drunk driving accident. Becky is unfazed, and they set up a date to meet Rob. (The meeting goes well, but the mother is still concerned.)
Jen has a birthday, and for some reason, Becky is there right by her side? Like did they makeup, and I missed it? At the party, Becky is dancing and hugging guys. Rob sees this happen and tells Becky to leave. She doesn’t want to go and keeps dancing while Rob jugs punch that has been spiked. Becky sees him and gets worried because he is an alcoholic. She tries to stop him, and he backhands her in the middle of the party. Becky runs off, and Rob chases after her. He emotionally manipulates her and begs for forgiveness.
Becky forgives Rob. Jen doesn’t and takes Becky to talk to Rob’s old girlfriend, Amanda. Amanda tells Becky that he was abusive to her too. When she tried to break up with him, he got possessive and started stalking her. She also says that she was attacked in her house. She was the teen from the beginning of the movie. Jen is vindicated to have her suspicions corroborated, and Becky is starting to realize Rob is a bad guy. Amanda should have never talked because Rob overheard the whole conversation. He attacks her at the restaurant she works at.
Rob works out with his shirt off while looking at pictures of Becky.
When Becky and Jen learn that Amanda has gone missing, they argue about going to the police. Ms. Vivica A Fox talks to Becky about Rob. She gives her a pep talk and tells her to be careful. Instead of going to the police, Becky goes to her plastic mother… who then goes to the police. (The police do nothing, BTW.)
Rob is back in his black hoodie and lurking outside of Becky’s house. When the plastic mother hears a noise, she does downstairs to investigate. Rob is inside the house but not interested in the plastic mother, yet. He finds an envelope with her work address and takes a picture. The next day Rob calls the plastic mom and pretends to be the VP of the school. He tells her to come down to the school and then attacks her in the parking lot and steals her car.
Rob drives the car to school, and Becky gets kidnapped. He is holding plastic mom hostage. Becky tries to sweet-talk him and eventually spays him with pepper spray. Becky is getting her mom out of the backseat. Ms. Vivica A Fox comes up, and pepper sprays Rob too. As Rob is writhing on the ground, she says: “Looks like you messed with the wrong cheerleader.”
The police show up and suddenly care about Rob. They drag him off as Becky confirms that he did in fact, “Mess with the wrong cheerleader.”
Minority Report: Ms. Vivica A Fox. The two romantic leads. Detective.
This very shallow dive into the deep well of domestic abuse is pretty problematic. Pepper spray is great, but should not be the only take away from this movie.
🔪🔪 (2 Knives)
🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷 (5 glasses of wine required)
*Photo Credit: © 2019 Lifetime