The Neighbor in the Window (2020 Lifetime)
Synopsis (via Lifetime)
When upbeat, outgoing Karen (Jamie-Lynn Sigler), her husband Scott, and their young son relocate to Washington for Scott’s job, Karen looks forward to starting a new life.
Jamie-Lynn Sigler returns to Lifetime, and I couldn’t be more ready. This is another Ripped from the Headlines Movie. What has Medow Soprano been up to since 2004’s Heidi Fleiss Lifetime movie? Ms. Sigler plays a woman named Karen Morgan. Karen is crying historical and trying to be strong for her husband and son. (Played by an adorable child.)
Flash to Karen, her husband Scott, and their Son miles are looking for a new house. They find a cute house in a culdesac with beautiful windows and natural lighting. Karen can’t understand why someone would move from such a beautiful home. She pulls back heavy curtains and marvels at the view of the neighboring houses. (Which will come back, hence the title.)
Once they are moved in, Karen meets a friendly new neighbor named Susie. Susie has a son the same age as Miles. The kids and mothers become fast friends. Another neighbor named Lisa Beasley stops by with a bottle of wine. Lisa also has a son Miles age. As their boys play, Karen opens up about the loss of her second child to SIDS. Lisa experienced a similar situation, and the coincidence bonds them instantly. The three women create a little neighborhood posse where they drink “mommy juice” and go shopping to generic hop hop music.
We get a shopping montage, and I’m thinking this is going to be a mommy Mean Girls situation. Lisa even wears the same dress as Karen on the first day of school. (We only wear pink on Wednesday!) Karen is put off by Lisa’s fashion choice and later at a party notices Lisa wearing a replica of her necklace. (It was a gift from Scott when their daughter died.) When Karen asks Lisa’s husband about it, he tells her they never lost a baby to SIDS. His brother did. Lisa lied and has had trouble making female friends in the past.
Karen starts to try to distance herself from Lisa. When Karen confronts Lisa about the lie, Lisa cries and claims she has Parkinson’s Disease. (This was the reason for the mix-up.) Karen feels sorry for her and foolish for jumping to conclusions until Karen compares notes with Susie. Lisa told Susie that she has Lupus. Karen’s husband says Lisa is a habitual liar and tells Karen to give it some space.
Lisa is not letting that happen. First, she stalks Karen and calls her regularly. Then on Halloween, she dresses up as a sexy Catwoman and tries to seduce Scott. (Seriously, is this Mean Girls?) When Lisa hits up Karen for $5000, Karen draws a line in the sand and kicks Lisa out of her house.
The next day at school, Miles’s teacher tells Karen that she has received reports that Miles is neglected. Karen has to meet with the principal of the school and maybe even with social services. Karen pleads with Susie to speak on her behalf, but it seems like Lisa got to her first. A parent at school named Michelle sees Karen having a breakdown and gives her the card for her lawyer, Alan.
I thought the holiday movies were over, but we get assaulted with kids singing Jingle Bells terribly. Scott and Karen fight in the parking lot. They get interrupted by the police who serve Karen with a restraining order. She cannot be within 100 feet of Lisa Beasley, which means Karen can’t go in her backyard.
Alan, the Lawyer, tells Karen and Scott that Lisa seems creepy, but it is not illegal. He asks them to keep a log of unusual behavior from Lisa. He also gives Karen strict instructions to stay away from all members of Lisa’s family. This creates an impossible situation Lisa watches from her balcony waving a phone tauntingly at Karen if she even steps outside.
Scott decides to meet with Dan, Lisa’s husband, and talk man to man. Dan says that Lisa has been like this her whole life, and it has happened before. Dan goes to Lisa and asks her why this keeps happening with their neighbors. Lisa physically assaults Dan and begs him not to leave her. Poor Dan. The next morning Lisa’s garage is spray-painted with the word “Bitch.” Lisa and Susie blame Karen.
Karen is not taking things lying down and installs cameras all around her house. Copycat, Lisa, does the same.
On a rainy day, Karen is on her way home and hits Lisa with her car. (Or Lisa throws herself in front of Karen’s car.) Lisa makes a huge scene and calls the police. The police arrest Karen and take her into custody. Karen is looking at ten years in jail.
Again, Karen tries to appeal to Susie, who is too afraid to testify and turn against Lisa. Karen gets fired with her job because Lisa writes tons of negative reviews about her. With the curtains drawn in her beautiful house, Karen researches False Victim Syndrom and works with Alan to establish a pattern of behavior.
In court, things seem to be going Lisa’s way. When Lisa takes the stand, she gets caught in all her lies. It is eventually Lisa’s daughter’s statements that incriminate Lisa. Allie says she and her mother stood to wait for the car for twenty minutes, and Lisa threw herself into the car. She also testifies that Lisa never went to the hospital. Karen is found innocent.
To celebrate Karen and Scott, drink some “Mommy Juice,” or champagne, the cheers, and drink with the windows open. Karen realizes that Lisa is never going to stop, and they move. Another family moves into the neighborhood, and Karen watches from her porch with her eyes on her next victim.
Minority Report: Miles Teacher, a couple buying a house, Principal Franklin, Michelle, Jours
Read about the real story here.
This movie has so much “Mommy Juice” in it; I had to crack open a bottle myself! Except, I don’t have kids, and I call it WINE… Like a grownup.
🔪🔪🔪🔪 (4 Knives)
🍷🍷🍷🍷 (4 glasses of wine required.)