Sunday, January 31, 2010

"Lying to Be Perfect" (aka "The Cinderella Pact"): a ruse pulled off by a Dear Abby imitation (Lifetime TV)


Lifetime TV gloats over another socially relevant premiere (Jan. 30), “Lying to be Perfect”, directed by Gary Harvey, based on the novel “The Cinderella Pact” by Sarah Strohmeyer. (Note the irony for Lifetime in the word “Pact” – check last week).

Poppy Montgomery plays the homely copyeditor Nola, who promotes herself and her mag ("Shine") by secretly writing a weight-loss column. Three of her friends form the Cinderella pact, not knowing who “Belinda Apple”, the “Dear Abby” –like columnist is, so then the ruses to hide the scheme set up the operatic comedy. She can’t even go to her own book-signing party (for "Apple Gets to the Core"), it seems.

The movie, while a bit trite, says something about the laggard magazine publishing industry (it’s hardly on the scale of “The September Issue”), as well as a minimalist version of the “Biggest Loser” idea. There is an episode dealing with gastric bypass surgery, and another dealing with discrimination based on appearance in restaurant seating. There’s a line to Nora “You’re not a face; you’re a big girl with a big dream.”

And get this: "There is a little bit of Belinda in all of us." Really? Or, "I'll never work as a journalist again." Interesting. "You are a writer. Believe in that." But she does face legal implosion.

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