Deadly Transaction (2020 Lifetime)

Deadly Transaction (2020 Lifetime)

Stars:  Sarah ButlerLarissa DiasKayla Wallace

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Synopsis (via Lifetime)

Two teenagers have convinced themselves they’re not doing anyone any harm by counterfeiting money, but it all takes a dark turn when their debt-ridden art teacher finds out they are using his classroom to make the counterfeit bills.

Thoughts

Teenagers (Riley and Erica) have a shopping montage where they try on clothing (Can we talk about the oversized fur coat. Terrible) in slow motion and take selfies. The girls buy so many items that the sales clerk makes snide comments about using “Mommy and Daddy’s” credit card. They pay in cash and leaver her a sizable tip in counterfeit bills. (Bills that they print off of a home printer!!!!)

Riley is having second thoughts when Erica pushes her to print more money on her little printer. They are almost caught by Riley’s Aunt Karen, who is a buzzkill. Aunt Karen tells Riley to get a job, stop hanging out with her boyfriend Oliver, and focus on school. Aunt Karen is having trouble paying bills and is in financial ruin. 

This movie has a tone problem. Erica says Riley is having a “senior moment,” and later, Oliver calls a cancer patient is “the grim reaper.” They are attempts at humor but make the characters unlikeable and ignorant. We can do better in 2020, even if this movie was created in 2018 and repacked/sold to Lifetime.  

Erica and Riley are in art class at school, with they realize that with Mr. Tim Sylvester’s (Hunky art teacher.) art equipment could help with the counterfeiting. They make more money and then launder the money at a currency exchange in the mall. Oliver catches them and immediately wants Riley to stop.)

The girls research the dark web and then make counterfeit hundred dollar bills in the middle of the night in the school art room. (The janitor is cool with it and thinks they are working on a project.)

Meanwhile, the hunky art teacher is getting roughed up in his home. (Lie punched in the face.) Disheveled and looking a mess, but still hot, Tim Sylvester runs into the janitor who tells him about Riley and Erica working later nights in the art studio. The art teacher then finds a crumpled counterfeit hundo on the floor. He is on to them. 

Things get out of hand when Riley buys a record from a mechanic. (I think it is a gift for Oliver.) She uses counterfeit money and drops it on the ground. The oil bleeds into the bill showing it is fake. When the mechanic sees, he grabs Riley. She manages to get away but cuts her jeans and is very frightened. Erica meets Riley and gives her a taser for protection because they are real criminals now… but still in high school! 

Aunt Karen notices Riley limping and freaks out when she sees the cut. Riley pulls the classic, “You’re not my mother.” to stop Aunt Karen from nagging her and looking into things further. Aunt Karen continues to look into things and learns that Riley has been lying about working in a grocery store to cover where she is getting money. Then she starts trailing Riley around town. 

Stephanie, the student with cancer, dies. Riley is sad about it. 

Mr. Selvester stops Erica in the hallway and pulls her into his art studio alone. He tells her that he knows she is counterfeiting money, and I think he uses it as leverage to have sex with her for him to keep silent. Gross. Then he meets with both girls by the baseball field to tell them he wants $50,000. Aunt Karen interprets and screams at Mr. Selvester to get away from them. 

Riley and Oliver break up. Then sad music plays, and Riley flops on her bed.

Aunt Karen will not let things go and attempts to break into Riley’s computer while she is at school. Then she accidentally prints money on the at-home printer and knows what her niece is up to. 

Riley and Erica make more and more money. It is getting harder to launder the money, so Riley wears a wig and a trench coat to look less suspicious. She is almost caught by the FBI but bumps into the mechanic who punches the agents. (He is still mad about he bad record sale.) Erica gives Riley a pep talk when she is back in the getaway car. They have to get the money to Mr. Sylvester. 

Aunt Karen puts a wrench in their plans when she confronts them about the counterfeit money. She calls Barb from the PTA (who is a lawyer.) Erica runs off before Aunt Karen can take them to the police station. Riley withholds information from the police.

Erica meets up with Mr. Sylvester; he is still a hunk. Erica thinks so too and has somehow developed feelings for Mr. Sylvester. She wants to go on the run like Bonnie and Clyde. Mr. Sylvester pretends to be down for the plan and manipulates Erica into doing his bidding. Erica lures Oliver, kidnap him, and uses him as collateral to get Riley to run one last con.

Riley works with Aunt Karen to figure out what to do that doesn’t involve the police. Mostly they cry and talk about feelings, but then Aunt Karen learns about counterfeiting and is impressed. (A money-making montage happens here with pink lighting) The police stop by, Aunt Karen and Riley lie to protect Oliver and keep Riley out of jail. Then they proceed with their day as usual. (Just with bags full of counterfeit money.) Aunt Karen almost takes the fall for Riley when the FBI catches them, but Riley grabs the money and runs away to the meetup spot.

At an old abandoned barn or farmhouse, Riley brings the money is a sensible purse. Oliver is tied up and held at gunpoint while Mr. Sylvester looks through the purse. He is pissed that they are Euros. Erica stands by and laughs until Mr. Sylvester turns the gun on her. Olivers kicks Mr. Sylvester, and Riley beats him with a wooden plank. They save Erica, who watches dumbstruck. 

Riley makes a run for it but is caught by Mr. Sylvester, who tells her that she was his favorite student. As he is about to shoot Riley, Erica pulls out her taser and stops him. Then she kicks him and calls him a “son of a bitch” Riley and Erica are friends now, they leave the body, and the police do not come to the scene. 

Riley donates all the money to Stephanie’s cancer foundation. 

Six months later, Riley is finishing up her COMMUNITY SERVICE and is back with Oliver. Aunt Karen is in prison.

The movie ends with another little girl, scanning a dollar bill and the following title card:

“As a testament to the Secret Service’s efforts, the U.S. Treasury estimated that less than .01 percent of approximately $600 billion in U.S Currency in circulation is currently counterfeit.” 

Side Note

Minority Report: Popular girl, teacher, thug,

I think I saw this on Netflix years ago. 

Also Known as Counterfeiting in Suburbia

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Overall rating

🔪🔪 (2 Knives)

🍷🍷🍷🍷 (3 glasses of wine required.)

*Photo Credit: © 2018 Lifetime

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2 Comments

  1. I don’t think Aunt Karen’s in prison at the end of this, but EVERYONE SHOULD BE, so I understand the wine haze. OMG this one’s so dumb. Hot dodgy art teacher is hot, though.

    You know what this needed….Party Mom!!!

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