Picture Perfect Lies (2021 Lifetime)

Picture Perfect Lies (2021 Lifetime)

Cast: Laurie Fortier, Megan Elizabeth Barker, Matthew Pohlkamp, Joel Berti, Crystal Allen

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Synopsis (via Lifetime)

Rachel Collins is about to celebrate her sweet sixteenth birthday. She has everything a girl could want, but when a shocking murder at her party unravels a dark web of lies in her family, Rachel questions everything she’s ever known. (2021)

Thoughts

The movie begins with a montage of framed photos. Then slow pans on an empty house being burgled by teenagers. A masked person joins them and makes it awkward. 

Flash to 36 hours earlier. The successful couple, TKTK, open parks and build up condo buildings. They celebrate their daughter Rachel’s sweet 16 birthday and look at old photos until her hunk boyfriend, Adam, shows up. The party continues, and Aunt Jenny shows up and boozes it up. She urgently tries to tell Rachel something, but Rachel’s mother shuts it down.

After the party ends, Rachel and Adam are about to tell one another they are in love, but Jenny is found dead in the pool. Someone hit her in the head with a golf club, and it is ruled a homicide. Rachel and her friend Ava discuss the murder at school while eating a sad-looking lunch. Ava tells Rachel that she saw her dad hugging and comforting Aunt Jenny. 

Rachel snoops around and finds a fade combination by her parent’s computer. Then she finds a safe behind a photo on the wall and inside finds a gun. Rachel tells Ava, and they come up with theories in her room. Then they decide to break into Jenny’s house in the middle of the night. (We are at the beginning of the movie now.) A hooded masked figure breaks into the house behind them and quietly follows them around. 

The girls find a lot of old photos and look at them with their phone flashlights. There are photos hidden under a mattress of a little blonde girl. Just as Rachel takes them, the hooded masked figure follows them and knocks Ava unconscious. Rachel calls 911 and watches the masked figure getaway in a white truck.

Rachels parents are pissed that she has been doing the job that the police are supposed to be doing. First, they tell their daughter that she is overreacting and imagining things. Then they reveal that Aunt Jenny had a daughter that died around Rachel’s fourth birthday. The reason Rachel’s dad was comforting Aunt Jenny as she was mourning the anniversary… or so they say. 

To keep Rachel quiet, Rachel’s parents buy her a red convertible for no reason. Everything feels off, and Rachel shows Adam the photo of the little girl with pink shoes. He notices a birthmark on the child’s hand that matches Rachel’s. Then the masked, hooded figure is caught rummaging through Rachel’s new car. In BROAD DAYLIGHT!

Aunt Jenny turns out to be Rachel’s biological mother. Her parents raised Rachel because Jenny gave her up her parental rights and asked them to keep it a secret. Angela and Spencer, the parents, try to calm Rachel down. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work because she is hysterical and rushes to her room. So, they decide to fire Desi, the housekeeper, AND install security cameras everywhere. 

Rachel tries to sneak out of the house while theatrical music plays. Ava takes Rachel in and asks her what she is going to do about the whole, not your parent’s situation. After some hemming and hauing, the girls decide to find out who. They go to the high school and pull Jenny’s yearbook learning her father could potentially be a mullet man named Derrick. 

Adam and Rachel find Derrick doing some yard work. He tells them that Angela was cold and calculating. Derrick shares that his time with Jenny was the best years of his life. Then adam and Rachel see a white truck and wonder if he is a suspect. 

The teens scan a photo, which would never happen because teens can’t work with antiquated tech, then they do a reverse image search. They find out that Rachel was kidnapped in Colorado and has parents and two siblings who think she is kidnapped. (Which she is.)

The celebration is cut short when Rachel and Adam are attacked by the hoodie maks person with a knife. Rachel shoots at them, but the gun is a water gun???? Adam gets the gun from the safe but is knocked out by a second intruder. The intruders run away, leaving the teens behind.

Adam and Rachel drive to Colorado and finds her biological parent’s house. Little do they know the masked intruders follow them. The parents aren’t home. They are at the playground where Rachel was kidnapped from. 

At the playground, Rachel is reunited with her parents, who are thrilled to see her. The happy reunion is cut short when Angela and Spencer show up with guns. They were the masked intruders.

Angela cries that she couldn’t have children and was rejected by the adoption agency, so they kidnapped Rachel. She also admits to killing Jenny because she was going to tell the secret. Adam, the hero of this movie, wrestles the gun from Angela’s hand. Then he takes down Spencer, who Angela shoots. 

Rachel moves in with her new family and speaks to the press about how important playgrounds are.????? Wha?????

Side Note

Minority Report: Ava, Ryan, Detective, 

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Overall rating

🔪🔪 (2 Knives)

🍷🍷🍷 (3 glasses of wine required.)

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

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