A Rose For Her Grave: The Randy Roth Story (2023 Lifetime)
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Cast: Chrishell Stause, Colin Egglesfield, Laura Ramsey, Rachel Stubington
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Synopsis (via Lifetime)
Following the death of her husband, single mom Cindy (Laura Ramsey), finally finds love again with mechanic Randy Roth (Colin Egglesfield) but her wedded bliss soon turns dark when she discovers another side of Randy. Despite the pleas of her best friend Lori (Chrishell Stause) to leave her marriage, Cindy never gets that opportunity after she drowns during a trip to a lake with Randy and the kids. Emotionless following Cindy’s death, Randy orders her immediate cremation, takes custody of Cindy’s kids and attempts to collect on her life insurance policy. Determined to honor Cindy and find the truth, Lori uncovers more of Randy’s past, discovering that Cindy may not have been the first wife murdered at his hands. (2023).
Artistic beginning. The movie starts with a married woman sinking in water in a wedding dress. Then she is head down in the water by her husband?
Chrishell Strause plays Lori, who is best friends with a recently widowed woman named Cindy. (Damn it, if both actresses aren’t nailing this acting from the tippy top of the movie.) Lori promises to help her BFF through this challenging time.
Five years later, the friends are still living together and raising Lori’s son Tyson. Lori helps make breakfast and takes Tyson to baseball games. Cindy inexplicably works at the snack stand and is chatted up by the rival team’s Coach. His son, Greg, tries to set Cindy and Randy up on a date. Randy Roth gives her his number, and she is charmed by his smile and general hotness.
Randy comes to take Cindy out on a date and makes small talk with Lori. He is confused about why they live together and how they can afford such a nice place. Lori offers him a drink, but he doesn’t drink, eat sugar, or smoke. Randy works as a mechanic.
On their date, Randy tells Cindy that his wife, Janice passed away. Other than some slight awkwardness, the date goes well, and they have a friendly peck at the night’s end. Cindy gushes to Lori about how amazing Randy is.
Randy has a cookout at his house and invites his friend John and his wife, Megan. They have a teenage daughter named Dana, with who Randy seems uncomfortably close. He offers Dana dieting advice and touches the small of her back. He also incentivizes weight loss by giving Dana $100 for every pound lost. (This behavior is unhinged and problematic. Only Lori finds it strange.)
Lori asks Randy about his time in the service and how he lost his wife, Janis. He says she fell while mountain climbing but has no emotion attached to the story.
Randy proposes to Cindy quickly, and she says yes. Lori has her reservations but supports her friend as she always has. Randy tells Lori that she can stay in the house as long as she likes, but he and his son will be moving in.
Lori hears screaming coming from Cindy’s bedroom in the middle of the night. Randy is on top of Cindy when she goes into the bedroom, strangling her. He says it is from PTSD.
While doing laundry, Lori discovers Greg peeded the bed. Greg is terrified and begs her not to tell his dad. Lori covers for Greg when Randy almost finds out.
Cindy and Randy leave town for their honeymoon, and instead of leaving Lori to watch the kids, Randy insists that Dana stay and babysit. Lori asks Cindy if she finds the relationship with Dana inappropriate, and Cindy is offended. She does admit that Randy is not so great in the bedroom. Randy overhears the whole conversation.
While living together, Lori catches Dana in the bathroom throwing up. When Lori tries to ask her about it, Dana savagely asks why Lori even lives with Cindy because they are in their 40s. (Damn, Dana!)
Cindy and Randy have a good time on their honeymoon. He asks her to bear her all to him. Which is a quote from her journal that he has been reading.
Later, Lori finds Randy’s ex-wife’s ashes in a box in the basement. She has a bad feeling about him and brings it to Cindy. Cindy takes it as a personal attack and kicks Lori out of her house. (Wow! Cindy! How could you!)
Who does Cindy call when she is in trouble, Lori? (Not her mechanic husband!) A fuse connection came loose. Cindy seems withdrawn and stops seeing Lori all together.
Cindy’s new reality is a homemaker who can’t do anything to the satisfaction of Randy. He criticizes her hair, weight, and shopping abilities and forbids Cindy from seeing Lori.
As Lori is driving, she hears a news report of Cindy dying in a lake drowning and is overwhelmed with emotions. She rushes to Cindy’s house to ask Randy what happened. He recounts the incident meticulously and without any hint of remorse. (Lori ain’t buying it!)
Randy has custody of the children and treats them like they are in the military. He doesn’t let them show emotions or disobey his orders. (He is Mommie Dearest level abusive.)
Lori is haunted by nightmares of Cindy’s drowning and wakes up to find someone parked outside her house. It is a woman and her cat. Her name isDonna Clift and she is an ex-wife of Randys. He tried to drown her too, while white water rafting.
Lori makes a police report and tries to get custody of Tyson. A detective named Soupie agrees to look into Cindy’s death and Randy’s past marriages.
Randy takes control of Cindy’s finances and removes a will from a bank security box before Lori can get to it. He also tracks down Donna Clift and messes with her car as a warning. (Oh, he puts the cat in the engine… ewww gross.)
Dana runs away to be with Randy, and her parents are distraught, which is weird because they didn’t seem too concerned when he was paying her to lose weight. Lori talks to them and tries to tell them Randy has groomed their daughter. Megan decides she will tell Lori everything she knows about Randy.
Lori tracks down a former fiance named Mary Jo Philips. The story is the same, except Mary Jo, had ovarian cancer and was uninsurable. Lori finds a copy of the will and takes custody of Tyson.
Randy isn’t stopping his charade and starts dating a woman named Stacey, who is a single mother.
Police arrest Randy and bring him into custody. They search Cindy’s home and find nothing. Oh, wait, Detective Soupie finds Cindy’s diary. The evidence is circumstantial and not enough to keep Randy in custody.
Lori meets with Dana and tells her the truth about Randy. Dana realizes she was taken advantage of and is reunited with her parents. They take custody of Greg.
The detectives take statements from all of Randy’s living victims. It is enough to piece together a narrative and charge Randy as a serial murderer.
National Domestic Violence Hotline
Hours: 24/7. Languages: English, Spanish, and 200+ through interpretation service
Learn more or call 800-799-7233
Minority Report: Soupie, Detective,
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Number of Kills:
🔪 (1 knife)
Enjoyment Level (1-5 scale)
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: © 2023 Lifetime® | A+E Networks®
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I am so happy I took your advice to pour it up on this one. Of course I will now need t watch something funny as a palate cleaser, but this was good and so sad. Broke my heart
Yes! I usually watch Golden Girls to decompress after a Lifetime movie