Daily Chick Flick: Midnight Bayou  

What's the one thing sadder than a grown man watching a Lifetime made-for-TV movie from the Nora Roberts collection? It's when the same man watches said movie on his own accord, by himself, and does so late at night. Had there been a box of Bon-Bons and scented candles involved, it would have officially been time for me to turn in my penis.

I'd be hard-pressed to imagine that any movie which has ever aired on Lifetime could hold much appeal for me. The overriding cliche is that they only feature movies about long lost lovers or battered wives... something that in my limited experience with the network has been completely true. It also seems that regardless of whether the leading lady is experiencing a deficit of love or a surplus of beat downs, she always has an "I'm stronger than you'll ever realize" thing going on. Which is kind of ironic, that on a channel for women, the independent, self-righteous bootstrapping ones end up choking down the notion that their path to happiness is paved with the love of a good man. I gotta admit though, it makes for a sound business model when the product you provide helps to breed the very same insecurities that makes your customers require it in the first place.

In Midnight Bayou, Jerry O'Connell discovers a deserted old mansion outside of New Orleans while on a drunken tear with some college buddies. He catches the flash of a ghostly woman in the window, and something about the place resonates deeply with him. But he's only in college and has three roofies that have yet to find their mark on this very fine Fat Tuesday. Many years pass and the next thing you know he's moving into the mansion, presumably setting up a law practice to aid Katrina victims that were screwed over by the insurance companies. His neighbor's granddaughter shows up, and unsurprisingly she's headstrong and fine as hell. The two seem to have some sort of connection, as if they knew each other from some other place... or could it in fact be from some place in TIME? Of course it is. Because she's the descendant of a former inhabitant of the mansion, who had a child with the maid that then bailed on them. All things which O'Connell begins to learn through visions, dreams, and the hot girl's creepy grandmother, played by Faye Dunaway. It turns out there may have been some sort of treachery afoot in the disappearance of the maid all those years ago, and through a convoluted cast of reincarnated attractive people, we're led to believe that the mystical "Wheel of Life" has a way of eventually sorting out life's drama, the preferred method for which is the introduction of further drama.

The entire thing was just so completely pointless. Could anyone involved with this actually be proud of the end result, much less any of the viewers truly enjoy it? I've seen viral videos with better production values, and they usually manage to do in 2 minutes what this film failed to do in an hour and a half -- entertain me. The only positive that is even remotely attributed to watching this movie was when I discovered that the unedited version of Showgirls is currently free On Demand through Comcast.

Everything about this movie screams chick flick, but mostly it's the fact that they leveraged the strength of Nora Roberts' devoted female fan base to bankroll another shitty made-for-TV abomination. The film had no merit to it whatsoever. However, I can't bring myself to call this movie bad either, simply because it was so overwhelmingly lame that calling it bad would relinquish some of the word's severity for movies that actually tried to be good but still sucked beyond imagination. There is no designation which better suits Midnight Bayou than the one that speaks to its utter lack of notoriety -- this film is insignificant. 5 tacos. Your vagina must be a gaping mess to find this movie redeemable in any manner whatsoever.

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