If I Can’t Have You (2023 Lifetime)
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Cast: Bailey Kai, Gina Hiraizumi, Houston Rhines, Jackée Harry, Michael Paré, Meredith Thomas and Eric Roberts
Director: David DeCoteau
Writer: Adam Rockoff
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Synopsis (via Lifetime)
Disc jockey Michelle Hall attracts the amorous attentions of an unknown demented fan. Meanwhile back at home, her nosy neighbor, Mr. Sklar, seems to watch and know her every move and Michelle’s live-in boyfriend, Aiden, thinks it’s him. When she receives strange calls and gifts at her door, Michelle’s life is turned upside down and wonders who the stalker on her block really is? Stars Jackee Harry, Bailey Kai, Gina Hiraizumi, Houston Rhines, Tracy Nelson, Michael Pare, and Eric Roberts (2023).
The movie begins with a person dressed in all black placing a harassing phone call. They have boundaries issues and aren’t taking a break up well. The woman on the other end of the call hangs up on them and then hears music before someone murders her.
Late-night radio talk show host Michelle and her producer, Lily (played by eternality fabulous haired Gina Hiraizumi), work live on air. Keith is their cutie sound engineer. The show is like a self-help/advice show, the ratings are good, and Eric Roberts (as the station manager) thinks they should move to mornings.
Michelle comes home and fends off her horny AF boyfriend, Aiden. She is exhausted and too overworked to get it on.
A called named John calls the station, and he creeps Michelle out. She thinks it might be her neighbor, Mr. Skyler, who also makes her uncomfortable. (he peeps out his window whenever she walks by.) The neighbor doesn’t leave the house and is weird.
Michelle heads home again, and things much be terrible at the station because she drinks straight vodka from a plastic cup. When she wakes up later, Michelle finds a love note/Rose she thinks is from Aiden. Mr. Skyler is standing outside. He creepily tells her that her Chlestoral is good because he opened her mail?! He also knows how she takes her coffee and where she shops.
John, the caller, calls the station and tells her to play “If I Can’t have you.” He asks her how she liked the rose and love note. Michelle becomes concerned an anonymous caller knows her home address and ends the call. Lily shares that John called back and asked for Michelle’s personal phone number and tell her a message. He said, “I’ll be watching you.” They go to Eric Roberts, and he isn’t surprised that Michelle has a fan with a crush. He does offer to have someone walk Michelle to her car after her shifts.
Mr. Skyler continues to lurk around Michelle’s home and peeps in her windows while she (reluctantly) cuddles with Aiden.
John calls again, this time posing as Tony. Michelle freaks out and plays a song to get off the air. The Cutie Sound Engineer tells Michelle to get a gun. Lily accuses Keith of having a crush on Michelle and possibly being the caller. He is offended because he is obviously into ME!
Jackée Harry finally shows up; even though she has top billing and is on the poster, she plays a typical detective role.
Aiden is STILL horny and caresses Michelle while she sleeps. He also offers to marry her “for protection.” Michelle isn’t interested and goes to lunch with Keith. She tells him about another note she received on her car. Keith tries to reassure her that it is probably a sad and lonely person.
Michelle and Lily discover that the caller is using voice-altering software. Then she comes home to find a picture of Aiden have been vandalized. Michelle and Aiden go to see Detective Jackee Harry. She downplays their fears.
In extreme underlighting, Detective Jackee Harry talks to another detective and wonders what to do about this whole stalker thing.
The caller calls back and threatens Michelle on air. Michelle and Lily think it is Eric Roberts! Keith offers to help hack suspects’ data. This would be an excellent time for a hacking montage, but we get a random cafe scene with Meredith Thomas and a hunk barista named Tim, who can be bribed with $20. (The called paid Tim twenty bucks to play a song when Michelle ordered her coffee to creep her out.)
Eric Roberts comes back clean, so Michelle asks Keith to hack into the coffee shop security cameras to see if she can see the caller. They get a license plate and track it down with the DMV. The car belongs to Mr. Skylar.
Lily comes over to help Michelle figure out what to do. Aiden wants to take out his sexual frustration on Mr. Skyler, but Michelle decides to call the detectives.
Aiden tries to break into Mr. Skyler’s house, but Lily and Michelle stop him. They are keeping watch on the house and don’t need Aiden protecting him like some brute.
Keith comes through again and helps his co-workers break into Mr. Skyler’s house. (Is there anything this cutie CAN’T do?!?!?) Kyle books it because he has a criminal past, which explains his appeal.
Lily and Michelle look through the house and find Mr. Skyler strangled to death. (Which shocked the hell out of me because I was pretty sure it was the neighbor.
Detective Jackee Harry is finally on the case! Even though there is only 5 mins left in the movie.
Michelle bumps into this guy named Robert from another radio station who has been trying to poach her the whole movie. He tells her if she needs his help, just let him know. Michelle does need his help because the caller turns out to be AIDEN!!!!!!
Aiden wears black latex gloves and uses the voice changer to scare Michelle. He tells her that she pays more attention to callers than him. He planned to scare her into his arms. He is right; Michelle doesn’t love him. He killed the neighbor to try to pin it on Mr. Skylar.
Just as Aiden strangles Michelle, Lily sneaks behind them and knocks him out. Lily put things together with Keith just in time.
Three months later, Aiden looks kind of hot in his jail jumper. (or whatever it is called.) He digs up a cell phone and calls the radio station. The end!
I LOVE Jackée Harry, but she served no purpose in this movie.
I know it is always the boyfriend in Lifetime movies, but damn, that Houston Rhines tricked me into thinking he is a nice, overly horny boyfriend!
Minority Report: Detective Jackee Harry, Lily
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Number of Kills:
🔪🔪 (2 knives)
Enjoyment Level (1-5 scale)
🍷🍷🍷 (3 Glasses of Wine)
Should you watch it?
Pour it up! (Give it a shot)
Put a Cork in It (Skip It)
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Poorly edited. Lead is kinda bitchy. Like a snarky head cheerleader. Tracy and Jackee are elderly detectives. Only 2 people common no other cops come you see in an office that looks like it’s in a house. A glitch when they were speaking to one another and the same sentence played twice. Typically, when your house gets broken into you call the police to show up at your house. I guess that wasn’t in the budget. Also, the filter on both of their faces was absolutely hilarious. One of those smooth faced smartphone filters but did nothing for the chest. All this and I’m only halfway through.
Weird movie. The lead is not very likable. She’s alternately bitchy and snarky kind of like a head high school cheerleader. Mean to her boyfriend. The police department looks like it’s in somebody’s old house and there’s only 2 cops there. 2 elderly detectives named Tracy and Jackee. In one of their discussions, Tracy’s comment was repeated twice, some dort of hiccup. Same clip, the face smoothing feature on those 2 ladies is absolutely hilarious. Their chests don’t match however. Only halfway through. I hope it gets better because it’s pretty painful at the moment.
2nd half of the movie was even more funny. Michelle and Lily playing Nancy Drew in the Case of the Secret Admirer. At one point they both decided to spy on the neighbor by simply standing against the wall and staring out the window. Because that’s not obvious. Because they can stand all day like 2 spy mannequin’s posed to look out of the window. When they’re conversing, you saw their shadow puppets on the wall from bad lighting. And, there was a schmutz on the wall that I thought was a goober on my TV but it wsn’t. You see obvious places where they cut something out and didn’t align it with the next scene very well. And once again you saw Jackee and Tracy running around with completely erased faces having silly conversations that sounded like an Olson twin junior detective movie. You got it dude. Of course in the end, it was who everybody probably knew it was from the beginning, the boyfriend. Of course they screwed that up too. The coroner claimed that the neighbor had been dead for a week when, in a scene just before that, the movie showed that he was confronted in his house and murdered just the day before. Only bright spot is that her little band of friends all got to stay alive. Usual annoyance was Lily hitting Aidan on the back with the baseball bat, not the head, and yet this big block of a man went down unconscious? Then, to add insult to injury, of course she dropped the freaking bat (as they always do) right there next to the unconscious hunk while they embraced and said their ending dialogue … never mind he could get up at any second. Perfectly sane women would have made sure he stayed down with an extra whack and then ran outside to wait for help in the car or at a different neighbor’s. I swear Lifetime sucks at teaching women the right thing to do in these situations. The whole explanation at the end of how they knew it was Aidan driving the pea green car is ludicrous. That would have been talked about at the time when they met in the coffee shop. I think this movie was shot by a bunch of 9th graders loaded on peppermint schnapps and weed stolen from their moms.
One last thing. When you see Jackee and Tracy’s talking, look into their eyes. You can see the lighting. They look like freaking aliens. I think the people who made this film stole their neighbor’s spotlight and used it to light the indoor scenes. At least in this movie they didn’t kill Gina. They usually do. She’s gorgeous. She deserves more leading roles in these movies.