Evil Stepmom (2021 Lifetime)

Evil Stepmom (2021 Lifetime)

Cast:  Tara Spencer-Nairn, Julia Lalonde, Hannah Vandenbygaart, Randy Thomas

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Synopsis (via Lifetime)

Annabelle and Gabriella are twins, and Annabelle is ready to see their dad, Tim, start dating again after years as a widower. Gabriella, however, fears Annabelle is rushing their dad by setting up a secret dating profile for him. When transfer student Bethany joins their soccer team, Annabelle realizes Bethany’s mom, Caroline, has matched with their dad on his dating profile. Tim and Caroline immediately hit it off, but Gabriella is suspicious of how quickly Caroline and Bethany have inserted themselves into their lives. Determined to prove the women are up to no good, Gabriella must find out the truth before Caroline can become their evil stepmom. Tara Spencer-Nairn, Julia Lalonde, Randy Thomas, Hannah Vandenbygaart star. (2021)

Thoughts

The movie begins at a soccer game. Twins, Gabriella and Annabelle, dominate the field until Gabi collapses. Coach Dad/Tim turns over his daughter and is shocked to see his deceased wife’s face. It is a nightmare, of course.

Tim is a recently widowed father trying to raise two teenage daughters. They set their dad up with an account on a dating app and try to find the perfect match.

Bethany happens to be swiping on her mother, Caroline’s phone, and matches with Tim. They realize that Tim owns his own fitness clothing business and probably has money. Caroline enrolls Bethany in their school and takes her daughter to soccer practice. They all go to pizza afterward, and Caroline puts the moves on Tim. (Especially after she learns his wife died of a brain aneurysm. Which is apparently a turn-on for her.)

With his daughter’s encouragement, Tim calls up Caroline and asks her out on a date. On her way to meet up Tim, a handsome man calls out at her and grabs her arm. Caroline pepper-sprays him and continues on her date as if nothing happened. Tim and Caroline eat hot dogs and make out. (Which doesn’t really go together.) 

At another soccer practice, Gabi is upset when Bethany makes co-Capitan over her. It fuels her general distrust of Caroline and Bethany. Gabi thinks she sees Caroline steal money from her father’s wallet and from the team cash envelope. Gabi also thinks it is strange that Bethany has only had her social media account for two weeks. Gabi is gaslit by everyone. 

A pipe bursts in the apartment that Caroline and Bethany say they live in. (I’m pretty sure they live in their car.) Tim invites them to stay with him and his daughters. Gabi is not thrilled and watches the guests like a hawk. She finds Caroline stealing her mother’s jewelry. Before she can tell anyone, someone or something knocks her out.

When Gabi tries to tell everyone about Caroline, Bethany purposefully shatters the good china that belonged to Tim’s wife. Caroline suggests letting go of the past and donating things that belonged to the wife. Caroline is a “doctor” and gives Gabi ibuprofen that knocks her out until the middle of the next day. When Gabi tries to tell Tim that she has been drugged, he doesn’t believe her. 

Annabelle and Bethany sneak out to a college party. Gabi catches them, and they reluctantly bring her along. The guys at the party are pushy, and Gabi becomes uncomfortable. When she leaves and runs into Bethany outside, Bethany screams at her for following her and breaks a beer bottle using it as a weapon. Annabelle realizes that Bethany is deranged when she walks up on the scene. 

Tim and Caroline wait up for the girls, and Tim decides the living situation isn’t working. Caroline takes Bethany aside and slaps her silly because she is ruing the plan. 

The next day at school, Annabelle distracts Bethany while Gabi goes to the house that the women said they live in. The woman who owns the house says she has never seen Bethany or Caroline before. Caroline has an explanation and says they are on the run from an abusive ex-boyfriend and aren’t anywhere too long. 

Everyone is fed up with Gabi trying to take Caroline and Bethany down. Caroline throws another wrench in the whole thing when Tim wants her to leave again. She tells him that she is pregnant.

This movie should be called “No One Believed Her.” because Gabi keeps finding out sketchy things about Caroline and Bethany, only to have their discoveries explained away. Tim and Annabelle continually side with not Gabi. 

Things take a dark turn when Caroline threatens to give Gabi brain trauma and send her to a treatment center forever. Then Caroline convinces Tim to marry her in a shotgun wedding.

Gabi finds out Bethany has a criminal record under the name Beth-Anne Thompson. Caroline isn’t having the truth come out, and she kidnaps the sisters, in broad daylight, at a soccer game, with a gun. Tim doesn’t notice or care. 

Gabi calls her father with the cellphone in her sock in a very obvious green screen car scene. Tim rushes to save his daughters and tracks them to the woods. There is a struggle over the gun, and Gabi is shot. Caroline and Bethany make a run for it and get away to con another family. 

Side Note

Minority Report: Jesse, Mike, confused neighbor, College Scout,

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Overall rating

🔪 (1 Knife)

🍷🍷🍷 (3 glasses of wine required.)

*Photo Credit: © 2021 Lifetime® | A+E Networks®

Live tweet along with @LifetimeUncork using the hashtag #EvilStepmom

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