The Gabby Petito Story (2022 Lifetime)


The Gabby Petito Story (2022 Lifetime)

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Cast: Skyler Samuels, Evan Hall, Thora Birch

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HAPPY HOLIDAYS! We are recapping/reviewing It's a Wonderful Lifetime Christmas Movies this month. This week we talk about Planes, Trains, and Christmas trees! ⁠⁠⁠Will we "Pour it up" or "Put a Cork in it"??? ⁠⁠Lifetime Uncorked⁠⁠ and ⁠⁠Deck the Hallmark⁠⁠ collide on this monthly podcast covering your favorite TV movies! Brandon (Bran) Gray & Daniel (Dan) Thompson join Lifetime Expert ⁠⁠Patrick Serrano⁠⁠ to break Lifetime's TV Movie lineup for 2023. Follow us on social media for more content @LifetimeUncorked & @HallmarkPodcast Donate to Patrick's Cable Fund: ⁠⁠⁠⁠ Read Patrick's Recaps/Reviews: ⁠⁠⁠⁠ Listen to Patrick's latest single: ⁠⁠⁠⁠ Check out other Bramble Jam Podcasts: ⁠⁠⁠⁠ Subscribe to our Youtube Channel: ⁠⁠⁠⁠ Watch Patrick's Lifetime Movie: ⁠⁠Old Flames Never Die, starring⁠⁠ ⁠⁠PATRICK SERRANO⁠⁠! Business Inquiries | podcast@lifetimeuncorked.comFollow the Podcast @LifetimeUncorked & @⁠⁠hallmarkpodcast⁠⁠Follow the Host @PatrickMiguel Support Lifetime Uncorked with a monthly donation:  ⁠⁠ — Send in a voice message:
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Synopsis (via Lifetime)

The Gabby Petito Story explores Gabby and her fiancé Brian Laundrie’s complicated relationship and what may have gone wrong during their cross-country trip that resulted in Gabby’s tragic murder.

The disappearance of Gabby Petito captured America’s attention, setting off a nationwide search for the 22-year-old travel blogger after her parents reported her missing in September 2021, when she failed to return home following her cross country “van-life” trip with her fiancé Brian Laundrie. Non-stop coverage on the news drove amateur sleuths to dissect Gabby’s social media posts for clues about what happened to her during her trip, leading to the eventual discovery of her body in Wyoming. As the one-year anniversary of her tragic death approaches, the movie will bring to life Gabby and Brian’s doomed love story, including the warning signs that Gabby’s life was in danger, the ensuing search for her, the eventual discovery of her murder and ultimately, Brian’s suicide.

Recap/Wine Thoughts

I am not too familiar with the Gabby Petito story, so I am going into this movie pretty blind. 

The movie begins with a hot Moab desert road trip through Utah in August 2021. Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito argue while driving until a state trooper pulls them over. 

Flash to a party in 2019 in Blue Pointe, Long Island. Gabby and Brian run into one another after losing contact after he graduated high school. Gabby gives him her number, and they start dating.

The new friends go bowling, and Gabby shares that she wants to become an influencer focused on wellness and Lifestyle. Gabby is quick to introduce Brian to her family, which is unconventional. (Not to mention the fact that Thora Birch is old enough to play her MOTHER!) Nichole Schmidt worries about her daughter’s new boyfriend and his lack of ambition, but if Gabby is happy, Nicole is happy too.  

Gabby is NOT happy when Brian tells her he is suddenly moving to Florida with his family. Gabby considers moving with him because she loves him. They move and work at a supermarket. Gabby gets a better offer at an ice cream shop, and Brian doesn’t want her to take it because he gets jealous quickly.

They start looking for places, and it doesn’t go well. Brian is constantly upset and feels like he is inadequate. He is severely insecure. Gabby reassures him constantly, and he begins to feel isolated. Brian proposes and frames it that he thinks she is too good for him, and he is locking it down.

Speaking of lockdown, COVID happens. This slows down the wedding planning and boosts Gabby’s social media profile. She makes a friend named Rose, and they film TikTok videos together. Brian doesn’t like Rose being in their lives. He steals Gabby’s ID, so when they go clubbing together, she has to come home to him.

The ID steals spawns a bigger fight, and Gabby suggests Brian return to taking his anti-anxiety medication. He gets so mad that Brian breaks a chair. Gabby sleeps over at Rose’s place and rationalizes his behavior. Rose tells her friend that Brain has extreme jealousy.

An apology and bouquet of flowers are enough to win Gabby back. Brain suggests doing what many people did in the pandemic, pack up their life and travel the US in a van. Gabby is excited to document her travels on social media. (Rose is concerned for her friend and tells her to facetime her often.)

Gabby grows her followers from 200 to 1000. Brian downplays her achievement and makes fun of her ambition. Then he looks at her comments and realizes there are guys following her and becomes jealous of them too! Gabby laughs it off and encourages Brian to post his artwork online, but he doesn’t want to become a commodity.

Things blow up at a farmer’s market when a handsome fruit salesman talks to Gabby. Brian screams at Gabby in the parking lot and hits her head. Onlookers watch and become concerned. One bystander calls the police to report a domestic violence case.   

Now we are back to the police pulling them over. The police question Gabby and Brian separately and release them because Gabby covers for him. Rose tells Gabby to come to her because she is not safe. 

In the middle of the night, Gabby almost leaves Brian but thinks better of it and returns to him. She apologizes to him. 

They continue on their tense road trip, which is not portrayed on her social media. On her blog and Instagram, it is the picture of perfection. Gabby even calls her mom to share her concerns about the relationship. Brian overhears the conversation and realizes that Gabby is thinking of calling off the engagement. 

August 27th 2021 in Jackson, Wyoming, Brian brings up hearing the conversation in a Mexican restaurant. He blows up and causes another scene. People in the restaurant are concerned, so Brian and Gabby quickly leave.

In the van, Brain pretends to be interested in the blog, and Gabby is curt with him. He takes her to take a picture by an old abandoned gas station, and they camp at a campsite for the night. Gabby wants space.

By the campfire, Gabby listens to Brian apologize for his insecurities. He wants another chance, but it is something that she can’t give him. 

Next, we see an upset Brian arrives home in Florida without Gabby.

Thora Birch is concerned when she doesn’t hear from her daughter and notices that she has stopped posting on social media for two weeks. Agent Shaw is on the case and claims Gabby, a missing person, and Brian, a person of interest. Gabby’s parents make a statement to the press and ask for help finding their daughter.

Rose sees a news story and is horrified to learn that her friend is missing. She shares her memories of Gabb with reporters. She also begs Brian to tell everyone what happened.  

Outside Brian’s house becomes a media circus with protesters and reporters everywhere. Agent Shaw tells the crowd that Brain has left and is also missing.

Online sleuths hypothesize what happened. People also claim to have seen Brian and Gabby. Agent Shaw uses them to piece together a narrative from verified eyewitnesses. Agent shaw talks through the timeline as we see what possibly happened to Gabby.

Gabby’s remains are found at the campsite. Brian’s family’s lack of cooperation is becoming obstructionist to a murder investigation. (Like, seriously, these people did this?!? That is awful.)

Shots of Brian walking alone through the wilderness are inner cut with Gabby’s funeral. He commits suicide by a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. A notebook is found in a backpack that consists of Brian’s confession.

It is unknown what made Brian snap on Gabby. We see one potential catalyst, which is Gabby breaking up with Brian and Brian not being able to let her go. 

The movie, overall, did not provide any insight or clarity into what happened, considering the case was so recent. While the makes of the film have stated otherwise, it seems like a quick capitalzation on a sensational case. (Which is nothing new for Lifetime, TBH!)

Side Note

Minority Report: Agent Shaw, Fruit Sales Man, Miranda, 


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Overall Rating/ Should you watch it?

Pour it up! (Give it a shot)

Put a Cork in It (Skip It)

What did you think of the movie? Let me know in the comments or on social media @LifetimeUncorked & @patrickmiguel

*Photo Credit: © 2022 Lifetime® | A+E Networks®

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