Sorority Surrogate

I‘m not going to lie to you – I mostly chose to watch this movie because Cassie Steele of Degrassi: The Next Generation fame stars in it, and Degrassi is essentially Lifetime movies for tweens, so I knew this movie had to be a gem.

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Clever DVD Cover!

Cassie plays Val (Valerie, but goes by Val because she’s young and cool), who is a scholarly sorority girl (we know this because she was studying when everyone else was partying!!!). Within 3 minutes of the movie, she learns that her entire financial aid package has been revoked mid-semester (because, you know, mid-semester is a normal time to do this) because her alcoholic and POS father claimed her as a dependent on his taxes and that somehow changed everything. She has zero dollars and can’t afford school & her scholarly sorority lifestyle now. What will she do?!

We flash to fancy, rich, and beige-clad Sara and JAMESON (one of my favorite Lifetime Husband™ names) learning that they can’t get pregnant. Sarah has some “genetic condition” that we never get any more details on. They want a baby, they’re rich, they’re boring and nice and aren’t taking no for an answer.

We are also introduced to Maureen, Jameson’s mother and Sara’s mother-in-law who is crazy rich and a former congresswoman. She’s perpetually in a silk blouse, so you know, she’s NEXT LEVEL rich. Maureen clearly thinks Sara is not good enough for Jameson, and says so to Jameson, Sara, and her young hot newer husband Charlie.

Now we’re back to Val. She’s still poor, and doesn’t know what to do. She talks to her boyfriend Kyle (also from Degrassi but much more forgettable) and her friend Su, and Su tells her to freeze her eggs, which then eventually becomes the idea that Val should be a surrogate mother. Val’s mother is dead (OF COURSE, classic dead mom as always) so she really likes the idea of helping someone become a mom and the idea of becoming not poor. Kyle’s kinda feeling weird about it, but then Val convinces him with the widely inaccurate statement, “It’s like I’m babysitting for 9 months!” Great! We have the contract signed, Sara and Jameson are in beige again, Val’s in a blazer, and Su is there because she’s pre-law which apparently makes her able to read and understand contracts about surrogacy. Bing Bang Bong, here we go! After a montage of pregnancy tests, Val is finally pregnant!

maureen
CLASSIC MAUREEN LOOK: Silk & Pearls

Maureen, dressed in silk, finds out about the surrogacy and is pissed. Jameson tells her to stay out of his life. Drama. Maureen says to Charlie that everything would be better if Sara were out of the picture, and since this is a Lifetime movie, Charlie calls his HITMAN FRIEND to KILL SARA. Hitman friend Walter does it 2013-style by hacking into the car’s talking computer so that he can control the car from afar. But again, since this is Lifetime Movie, Jameson ALSO gets in the car, so Sara and Jameson BOTH DIE in the dramatic car accident. Maureen, in her silk blouse, is told by the cops that her son is dead and does the fall against the door, grasping for balance and for a meaning of life.

COOL so now Val is pregnant with a baby for a dead couple and has no idea what to do. Pre-law Su has the contract memorized and knows that Sara’s also barren sister, Stacy, is next in kin to receive the child. Yay, so everything is going to be okay! Right??

NOT SO FAST. Maureen finds Val and talks to her about taking over the custody of the baby but Val, right after breaking a lock for her boyfriend’s bike (this is mildly important), tells her Stacy gets the baby.  Maureen fake smiles and goes back home to tell Charlie that she wants the baby. Charlie, who has already hired a hitman previously and was a hitman himself at some point in his own life, breaks into Stacy’s house and plants drugs so that Stacy and her husband Bob get arrested. It works, and they’re out of the picture!

With everyone out of the way, Maureen becomes the next person in line for custody and gets CRAZY controlling of Val and the pregnancy. She invites herself over to the sorority house and has it fumigated to force Val to move in to her mansion with her. Kyle, pissed that Val is moving in with Maureen and realizing that pregnancy isn’t the same as babysitting for 9 months, thinks that Maureen is getting too clingy and that he and Val should take a break.

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Val realizing that Maureen is the worst

The next 20 min are of Maureen being lame to Val: She won’t let her carry her cellphone, won’t let her eat lamb, makes her change doctors, and then won’t let her see the baby in the ultrasound.

Val gets suspicious of Charlie because Charlie is bad at being a bad guy – Val sees him sneaking out of a room and locking it behind him, and then also overhears him talking to the hitman Watler about the botched hit job and how he won’t pay the full price since he killed Jameson by accident. Because she’s a strong, independent Lifetime Movie Woman, Val breaks into the room Charlie locked with the same lockpicking skills she used on the bike earlier (SEE, IMPORTANT CHARACTER TRAITS!) and gets into the study where there are just straight up letters about planting the drugs on Stacy and Bob. Like, guys, BURN THE EVIDENCE. Charlie and Maureen catch Val snooping and realize they’ve been found out, so it’s gloves-off-time.

This is the classic tipping point in the movie where things stop making sense and everyone goes crazy. Charlie and Maureen decide that the best choice is to LOCK VAL IN A RANDOM ROOM AND HANDCUFF HER TO THE BED UNTIL SHE HAS THE BABY. Bold game plan.

Kyle, realizing he’s not that attractive and should just stick with pregnant and poor Val, calls Val and can’t reach her (because she’s locked in a random room). He talks to Pre-Law Su, she also hasn’t seen or heard from her, and they start to get suspicious. They go to Maureen’s place to check on Val, and Maureen lies, saying that Val ran away. Su, who is smart because she’s Pre-law, thinks that Maureen isn’t worried enough for someone whose grandbaby has gone missing, Su is such a sleuth!

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Degrassi High Grads

At the same time, Val somehow uses a fork that she has from eating to break out of the handcuffs (see, that lock thing is IMPORTANT). She sneaks out of the room with a screwdriver and manages to grab Charlie’s car keys. HOWEVER, this is literally a plot point, the battery in the key fob is dead and she can’t open the door and doesn’t understand that she can use the manual key. I swear this is a thing – Charlie catches her and taunts her that the battery is dead. He puts Val in the trunk of the car and drives her up to a farmhouse (I guess people just have those).

We flash back to concerned Kyle and Su. They do an actually intelligent move and tell the cops that Val is missing, but of course, the cops don’t believe them and say it’s been under 24 hours so they can’t do anything. Through Val’s Find My Phone app, they see that Val’s phone is still at Maureen’s house, so no freaking WAY Val ran away!! Then there’s this unnecessary scene where Kyle, Su, and Gunner (Val’s brother, he’s kinda pointless but he’s also good at breaking into stuff, which is why he’s here) break into Maureen’s house while she’s gone to see if Val is there, but she’s not, and they almost get caught because Maureen’s alarm goes off, but they get out before Maureen or the security squad find them. Like I said, all pointless. The only reason this is important is because now Kyle, Su, and Gunner can follow Maureen in their car to the farmhouse.

OK BACK TO VAL. She arrives at the farmhouse in the trunk, Charlie’s being a big jerk. She doesn’t know what to do but decides to say that she has to go to the bathroom, and for some reason, Charlie lets her do that unsupervised (I told you he’s not great at being a bad guy). She spends some time crying and throwing up in there, and then realizes she can just spray air freshener in Charlie’s face and run away, GO VAL! But then Val does what 100% of all Lifetime women do and rather than just put a lot of distance between her and her chaser, she runs INTO a nearby building!!! VAL, JUST FREAKING RUN!!!!!! Nope, she thinks running into the close barn is a good idea.

Charlie tries to find Val and is in the barn looking for her. Then, for no reason ever made clear, Walter, the hitman shows up and is yelling at Charlie because he wants ALL of his money even though he ruined the hit job. Charlie and Walter yell more and Charlie shoots Walter, killing him INSTANTLY even though it is a stomach shot, which I’ve been led to believe by various other shows and movies is actually a long death, but you know, we gotta keep things moving.

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A rare sighting of Maureen NOT in silk!

Val screams, Charlie finds her and is about to kill her, and then Maureen walks in! How can Charlie think about shooting Val – she’s carrying her grandchild!! Val tells Maureen that Charlie killed Sara and Jameson – the one thing that Maureen was actually not aware of. They yell about all the crime he’s committed for her – rigging elections, killing her first husband, etc. – so of course he killed Sara and Jameson so that she could have the grandchild! This is TOO FREAKING MUCH for silk-lover Maureen and she shoots Charlie (there are two guns, for reference, and they’re constantly changing hands, it’s a little much to keep track of, so just assume guns are everywhere).  Maureen is about to shoot Val too, but through some GREAT crying and pleading from Val, Maureen drops the gun and cries. Su, Kyle, and Gunner arrive at the exact moment, and everything is okay! Val and baby are going to live!

We jump forward six months and Val has just given birth to the baby. That’s right, this entire movie takes place in the first trimester of Val’s pregnancy so she never has to wear a pregnancy belly/look pregnant – very good for the budget. Stacy and Bob are cleared of the charges of drugs and can take the baby, yay! The baby is named Val because Val almost died/had her life ruined because of this baby, so that’s the least Stacy and Bob could do, Val’s dad is magically sober now, so that’s great, and Maureen is in prison. So everything works out, that’s it, THE END!

1,000,000 absurd things happen in this movie, there’s a good amount of yelling, and the wardrobes are clearly from Kohl’s – the Lifetime trifecta. Definitely worth a watch – 7.5.

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