Death She Wrote (2021 Lifetime)

Death She Wrote (2021 Lifetime)

Cast: Paula Brancati, Will Bowes, Samora Smallwood, Claudia Hamilton

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Synopsis (via Lifetime)

Lila, a famous author, hires Mary, a personal assistant, to work out of her home. Little does Lila know that Mary is actually a deranged fan intent on taking over this author’s life. Over time, Mary manages to convince Lila that she is losing her mind, until Lila finds herself trapped in her own home under Mary’s controlling “care.” Mary even assumes Lila’s identity behind the scenes, taking over everything from writing to corresponding with her agent, and eventually plans to murder her the same way that Lila plans to murder a main character in her upcoming book. Samora Smallwood, Paula Brancati star. (2021)


The movie begins at a book signing, where Lila DeMarco reads her best-selling book, Driven to Kill. She has memorized the whole thing because she doesn’t even look down at the pages. Her fans are impressed, and all tell her they are her number one fans. (I can’t help but have Kathy Bates in Misery flashbacks. This movie wishes it could be that good.) Andrew is particularly creepy

An overeager fan named Mary saddles up next to Lila’s assistant and finds out that the job is opening up. Mary gushes over Lila and sends her resume to the assistant. Isabelle and Lila go over the resumes and pick Mary for the job.

Mary gets a tour of the house and takes voice memos. She is overly confident on her first day and gets caught looking through Lila’s things. Mary luckily knows about Lila’s books and fav series (Sherlock Holmes) and makes it less awkward. Mary then makes lunch and is confused by Lila’s sense of humor. (Which ends up in wasting wine!)

Lila invites Mary out to dinner and then later brunch with her editor. Mary takes over Lila’s social media and is sure to include herself in the selfies. Mary becomes possessive and tells Andrew off at the next book signing. He seems harmless and gay! (So, Hey boy, Hey! Call me!) Mary ups security and even starts opening Lila’s email to “check for anthrax.” 

Lila sets Mary up with Eric, and she is more into finding out what happens in Lila’s book and in her love life. He is creeped out by her and leaves the date early, and finds an article online about Mary stalking a professor. Eric calls Lila to warn her bus she thinks of Mary as a project and takes her on full-time.

While making drinks for Rand and Lila, Mary hears a knock on the door. It is Derrick, a man who has been stalking her the whole movie. Mary claims he is an ex-boyfriend and brushes it off. Derick end up dead, so that worked out for Mary.

Mary does some snooping in Lila’s email while she is away and deletes the article Eric sent. She also hacks into Lila’s phone and downloads all her passwords. 

Lila tells Mary about her new book and admits that it is a memoir. Mary gets so angry that she burns Lila with hot tea. Then she takes Lila’s phone and sets up a meeting with Eric, and hits him with her car.

Eric survives, much to Mary’s disappointment. Mary then bugs the house, changes all the times on Lila’s devices, and inserts a noise-making device. I’m not sure what her endgame is here, but it seems complicated. Mary even creates tension between Rand and Lila. I think she is slowly making Lila lose her mind. 

Mary starts drugging Lila and having her sleep all day. As she sleeps, Mary sexts Rand as Lila. That doesn’t work to keep Rand off her case because he finds the story about Mary in the paper and learns her name is Stephanie. He confronts Mary/Stephanie, and she hits him in the head with a statue killing him. 

Lila finds the manuscript that Mary/Stephanie has been working on but is knocked out before she can tell anyone. Lila comes home and finds the body; she freaks out. Mary sedates her and cleans up the crime scene. She convinces Lila that it was just a bad dream.

Lila wakes up ties to a chair at the top of the staircase. Mary/Stephanie admits to killing Rand and Derrick. She freaks out because Lila is not finishing her story and decides to take over the writing process. The murder is interrupted by Isabelle. She rushes to save her former boss. The two women wrestle the knife from Mary/Stephanie’s hands and send her flying down the stairs. 

Lila vows never to write another book about Zadie. 

Side Note

Minority Report: Isabelle, Andrew, Rachel, Elanore, Eric, Rand, Clerk, Rand Parents 

Not associated with Angela Lansbury’s Murder She Wrote.

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*** I’ve updated the rating system moving forward start 7/26/2021. Knives represent # of kills. Wine is over enjoyment (NOT a value judgment) on a 1-5 scale.

 I will use the following tags for those who want to know watch or skip: Pour it Up (Would Recommend) or Put A Cork In It (Would Not Recommend)

Overall rating

Number of Kills: 🔪🔪🔪 (3 Knives)

Enjoyment Level: 🍷🍷 (2 glasses of wine)

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

Live tweet along with @LifetimeUncork using the hashtag #DeathSheWrote

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