My Doctor’s Secret Life (2023 Lifetime)
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Director: Doug Campbell
Writer: Doug Campbell
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Synopsis (via Lifetime)
Dr. Veronica West has it all: a successful psychology practice, a hit self-help book, nationwide book signings, and a hot guy, Jackson Connors, who’d marry her if she’d just say yes. But Veronica can’t. She’s still dealing with trauma: before Jackson, she had a passionate relationship with troubled former patient Mathew Thomas. When Veronica broke things off, Mathew went into a deep depression, got drunk, and drove his car into a tree, killing himself. Veronica has spent the last year keeping it all secret, grateful no one else knows the real reason Mathew became depressed–or so she thinks. Jessica Morris, Taylor Castro, Jason Tobias star. (2023)
The movie begins with a guy chugging whiskey on the rocks and then going for a nighttime drive. He falls asleep at the wheel and crashes into a tree. (I’ve seen this shot so many times I wonder how they filmed it.)
One year later, we meet Dr. Veronica, who avidly discusses sports with her boyfriend, Jackson. They throw fruit at one another before having sex on the counter. He asked her to marry him recently, but she turned him down because she’s recently divorced and wants to keep up appearances. Dr. Veronica is a prominent psychologist.
In the office, Dr. Veronica stresses over a book signing and takes it out on her assistant, Nancy. (Who aspires to be a doctor as well.) A patient named David likes Dr. Veronica and attempts to steal things from her office as keepsakes.
Dr. Veronica meets with her mentor, Dr. Summers, and shares a copy of her book. The book is called Life’s Power Within and is dedicated to her mentor. Dr. Summers is impressed and grateful, but she shares the news that she has recently been laid off and later asks Dr. Veronica for $10,000 to tie her over while looking for jobs. Dr. Summers seems entitled to the money because the book is based on her teachings.
The book signing goes off without a hitch, and Dr. Veronica’s agent, Robbie, wants the book tour to go national and leave all her patients to make money! A timid girl named Brianna asked for an autograph and an appointment. Which would be awkward, but David shows up, cuts the line, and asks for an autograph. When Dr. Veronica tells him he is not keeping boundaries, he gets upset and steals something off a table.
Later, at the Q&A, someone asks Dr. Veronica if her treatments ever led to someone’s death. A memory flashes through her mind of a patient named Matthew, who stopped treatment and died in a drunk driving accident. (The one at the beginning of the movie.) Dr. Veronica broke protocol and had sex with him a year after she was treating him. It was a mistake, and she worries that the breakup was the catalyst for his sudden spiral.
On her way home, Dr. Veronica is attacked and wakes up in the driveway with a gash on her head and a note stuffed into her mouth. The note reads: “If you want to get better, you need to tell the truth.” (She doesn’t tell anyone what happened to her.)
The following day, Brianna showed up for her appointment and agreed to have her session recorded. She also knows a lot about how Dr. Veronica treats her patients with hypnosis instead of medication. Brianna becomes upset with the idea of being hypnotized and runs off, but eventually, Dr. Veronica convinces Brianna to try it out.
Strange texts begin to disrupt Dr. Veronica’s life. David thinks Dr. Veronica asks him on a date, and she sees a romantic text enter Jackson’s phone. Then, someone vandalizes her office. Nancy calls the police, and OFFiCER HUNK ARRIVES. He asks for patient information and promises to look for the stolen laptop.
Brianna walks into the office, upset that someone stole her therapy session. (Which is understandable!)
Veronica sets up a meeting with David to ask him about the vandalization. Jackson insists on going with her, but Dr. Veronica assures him that Nancy will be with her. The meeting doesn’t go as planned when David sneaks up on her in the parking lot. He tells her he loves her and promises never to hurt or trash her office. Dr. Veronica rejects his advances and tells him to get a new therapist.
Then she goes to her office and is met by Dr. Cortez, who has video footage of Veronica sneaking into her office to vandalize it for insurance money. (According to Dr. Summers.) Nancy verifies the story and says that Dr. Veronica promised her 30% of the insurance money. Dr. Veronica is baffled and claims her innocence. The police arrest Dr. Veronica, who screams for help as Jackson holds her down. Then David shows up with a letter opener and stabs her in the eye. THIS WHOLE PARAGRAPH WAS A DREAM!!!!
Back in reality, Brianna shows up for her next hypnosis session. She visualizes running down the street in the rain but doesn’t share what she is running to. We see she is running to her father in a crashed car. Brianna’s dad is Matthew. He had told his daughter about his relationship with Dr. Veronica, and she is holding a serious grudge.
Brianna is the one who broke into the office; she goes through voice recordings and then breaks into Dr. Summers’s home and uploads all the tapes from patients online. Then, she hires an escort to seduce Jackson.
Dr. Veronica loses her book deal and all of her patients. Everyone is suing everybody else. She tells Jackson everything; he tries to be supportive and helps her set up a new computer.
Brianna goes to the bar where Jackson watches the game and makes the sex worker give Jackson a roofied drink and then takes him home and takes sexy photos with him while he is passed out. (They do not look like he is a willing participant.) The photos are mailed to Dr. Veronica, and she breaks up with him after he explains that it must be a practical joke.
Nancy quits the practice because there is too much DRAMA! (I get it! I would do the same thing.) Brianna is the only patient left, and her sessions are becoming very strange. Brianna starts asking Dr. Veronica questions, and for some reason, she answers them. Dr. Veronica has no boundaries now!
The hot detective tells Dr. Veronica that the files were uploaded to the internet to Dr. Summers’s house. She denies everything, and the former friends get into an argument.
David gets a letter from Dr. Veronica on her statement asking him to come to her house. He interrupts a make-up dinner between Jackson and Dr. Veronica and claims she is playing with his emotions. He also threatens to kill Jackson, which is not great for him because Brianna stabs Jackson in the back when he leaves Dr. Veronica’s house for the night. Then, she plants the murder weapon at David’s house. Jackson survives but is in bad shape, and David is arrested for the attack.
Dr. Veronica finds the note that lured David to her and realizes someone is setting her up. She matches the handwriting to the intake forms and realizes it is Brianna behind everything. She cancels her sessions with Brianna because he boyfriend “died.” She asks Brianna to come over and comfort her.
When Brianna shows up, she is surprised that Dr. Veronica seems to be in a good mood. Brianna is annoyed by her resilience, calls her a liar, and brings up Dr. Veronica having sex with a patient. Brianna also admits to being Matthew’s daughter.
During the villain monologue, Hot Detective shows up and tries to put Brianna under arrest, but she slits his throat and stabs him in the stomach! (Multiple times!)
Dr. Veronica makes a run for it; Brianna knocks her out and ties her to a chair. Brianna threatens to kill Dr. Veronica’s family unless she makes a video confession of what she did to Matthew.
As she records the video, Dr. Veronica becomes emotional and recalls what happened. She also apologizes to Matthew in the video.
Having what she wants, Brianna forces Dr. Veronica to take sleeping pills, enough to look like an overdose. Dr.Veronica unties herself and punches Brianna in the face. She throws up the drugs and runs for the car.
They have a knife fight in the car, and we see some stage combat skills—eventually, Dr. Veronica punches Brianna out and sends the video confession to end things.
Six months later, Dr. Summers and Dr. Veronica, and it is a big hit! They celebrate with Jackson, who is definitely NOT dead.
Side Note/Stray Thoughts
Minority Report: Nancy, Dr. Summers, Moderator, Brianna, Body Guard, Detective Cortez, cop,
How did Brianna go from a normal girl to cold hearted killer?? The motivation on this one was a stretch.
Numbers of Kills: 🔪🔪 (2 knives)
Enjoyment Level (1-5 scale)
🍷🍷 (2 Glasses of Wine)
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
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