Psycho Party Planner (2020 Lifetime)
Cast: Lindsey McKeon, Katrina Begin, and Cathryn Dylan
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Synopsis (via Lifetime)
When young art gallery owner and mother Kayla Anderson finds herself drowning in work and need of help planning her daughter Kerry’s big upcoming Sweet Sixteen bash, she hires pretty, spirited party planner Lindy Shores to help out, having no clue that Lindy is unstable and recently murdered her husband, and will stop at nothing to make Kerry a daughter of her own.
The movie starts with a shirtless hunk, so that is a win for me. Oh, wait. The lady he is with is baren, buzz kill. The woman, whose name is Lindy, argues with the shirtless man, and he turns out to be a total asshole. He wants to separate from his wife because she can’t have his babies, so she pushes him down the stairs and kills him.
Kayla and her ZADDY husband, Jason, are raising the oldest sixteen-year-old I’ve ever seen. The thirty-year-old teenager is named, Kerry and she wants a sweet sixteen party. Cue the search for a party planner. Lindy shows up for the interview and isn’t quite what Kayla is looking for. (Lindy is too snobby for a sweet sixteen party.) They go with a redheaded woman named Delsey.
Lindy overhears the decision being made and can’t stand not getting the job. She steals Delsey’s resume and goes over to her house to beg her for the job. Lindy brings up her dead congressmen’s husband and tries to get sympathy. Delsey is sassy, and I love her. She is drinking malbec and not giving any fucks. Plus, her dog is named Cher. (Is this woman me?) She tells Lindy to take a hike, which Lindy does right into Delsey’s house. Poor Delsey gets murdered with a garden gnome.
With the job secured, Lindy meets with Kerry by the pool. They have a lot in common, and I’m wondering what Lindy’s endgame is. Kayla tries to remind them of the $2000 budget, and Lindy promises to plan the party of the century with a shoestring budget. Lindy also goes to school with Kerry and is generally way too involved in her life. She tries to hook Kerry up with her crush, Charlie, and insults some of Kerry’s classmates.
Afterschool, Kerry, and Lindy drink wine and party plan! Or just eat macarons and manically dance around the kitchen. Lindy keeps pouring wine as they put together the guest list and talk about getting the dance team to perform at the party. It is a long shot because the dance team, Coach Marlow hates Kerry.
When Kerry comes home smelling like alcohol, Kayla reads her the riot at and send a terse email to Lindy. Then Kerry talks to Jason, who is shirtless in multiple scenes, about when is the right time to tell Kerry a mysterious secret.
Lindy tracks down Coach Marlow and catches her making out with a married man. Lindy blackmails them to get the dance team to perform at the school. Coach Marlow is incredulous, why would Lindy be going through all this trouble for a sweet sixteen party. (I am thinking the exact same thing.)
Since no one has died in this movie in a while, Lindy kills Kayla’s assistant, Shonda, in her art studio with a hammer. (She throws it like a ninja star? Haha.) Oh, wait, she just gets a concussion. Kayla and Jason go to visit her in the hospital.
With no parents around, Kerry and Kayla look for photos of her as a baby for table decorations, but they can’t find them. Lindy plants doubts in Kerry’s mind that her parents aren’t actually hers. Maybe she as adopted. Kerry confronts her parents when they get home, and it turns out that Lindy was right. Kerry and Kayla cry and scream at each other while Jason, unfortunately, wears a shirt.
Lindy takes Kerry in and gives her more wine. Hey, at least it isn’t roofied! Lindy tells Kerry she is like a daughter to her and continues to follow her around, which creeps out her friends.
Kayla hears from Coach Marlow, who has concerns about Lindy and tells Kayla to be careful. Kayla and Jason fire Lindy which is a BIG MISTAKE. HUGE! Lindy goes off the deep end and frantically calls Kerry, leaving her rambling voicemails and caressing a gun. Then Lindy takes out Kayla and Marlow. (Kidnaps and ties them up.)
It is the night of the party, and no one seems to be too concerned about Kayla missing. Kerry gets dolled up in a dress that is budget bridal. (Or maybe a second wedding.) All her friends think she looks beautiful. Oh, wait, Jason texts his wife while saying the words out loud and slowly. Lindy shows up at the party and apologizes to Kerry with a gift. (A snowglobe, leftover from Christmas season?)
A POM DANCE SEQUENCE HAPPENS, AND I DIDN’T DESERVE THIS. (Also, Kerry is a fine dancer, why was Coach Marlow so rude to her about her skill level.)
Kayla and Marlow get themselves untied. In a comical moment, Marlow cries “Owwww” very dramatically. Instead of leaving the house, they snoop around until Lindy comes barging in with a gun. For the next few minutes, the ladies crawl around the house while Lindy looks for them. Lindy finds them and breaks Marlow’s neck. While holding Kayla at gunpoint, Lindt reveals her evil plans. She also admits to killing her husband and the other party planner.
Leaving her party and armed with a snowglobe, Kerry and Charlie go to Lindy’s house just in time. Kerry wrestles the gun away from Lindy. To stop her from shooting, Lindy tells Kerry that she is her birth mother and had her when she was sixteen. As she goes in for a hug, Kayla smashes Lindy in the head with the snowglobe, killing her. (Snowglobe murder was more beautifully done in Unfaithful .)
One month later. Kerry is an artist now. She gets it from her mother, and she gets her CRAZY from her birth mother,
Minority Report: Jason, Misty, Susan, Savannah, Shonda
This whole movie I was thinking of Hilary Duff’s Sweet Sixteen
Love the writer/director Jake Helgren. He gets what a Lifetime movie should be and nails the genre in a fun way.
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*Photo Credit: © 2020 Lifetime