Due East November 13, 2008Posted by Rusty in due east.
Our next Lifetime movie gives us the story of Mary Faith Rapple. If you couldn’t tell by her white trash name, Mary Faith is a Southern girl just trying to make her way through the world. She’s apparently so smart that she is getting stipend offers from Duke and Yale despite the fact that she doesn’t play a single sport or participate in a single club. She just studies and teaches adult GED classes at night. Her mom died a few years ago so she takes care of her father (college essay gold!). She’s a bit of a loner.
Then a new boy shows up in town. He’s a loner too. And he’s quite interested in Mary Faith. They skip class and take a bath together. They take away each other’s virginity.
Mary Faith was nervous. “I don’t know how to do this,” she quivers.
Her boy toy nervously laughs and replies, “I don’t know how either.”
Well, at least one of them has a pretty good idea because Mary Faith ends up pregnant as fuck. But not before – wait for it – her boyfriend dies in a motorcycle accident!
So, let’s check the peripheries of this little Georgia town called Due East. The principal runs his school with an iron fist, but he has a soft spot for the super successful Mary Faith. One of Mary Faith’s students is a drop-out. She drops out of the movie pretty quickly, but her mother is the recently dumped Becky Purdue. Becky is struggling with inadequacy after her husband left for his secretary. All she’s left with is three brat kids and a whopper of a drinking problem. Mary Faith’s best friend after her boyfriend’s death is Stephen Dugan, another tutor at the GED class. When Mary Faith tells her father about the pregnancy, he confronts Stephen’s mother, Nell, and asks if her son is the father. By the end of that awkward conversation, they’re drunk making out.
So, that’s Due East. Oh! And everyone is tawkin‘ in a Suthernnn accent. It’s so fucking exaggerated and ridiculous.
So word of the pregnancy starts to leak out. Her father isn’t quite supportive and he goes as far as to allow Mary Faith’s uncle to call her white trash who has disappointed the memory of her mother. Zing! Mary Faith claims that she is no such thing. Cone on, sugar. You’re a knocked up 16-year-old mechanic’s daughter from Georgia. You’re a meth lab from being the whole enchilada.
Still, it’s a family secret. Becky is the only one who figures out what’s up when she spies Mary Faith checking out a pamphlet for a house of unwed mothers (those still exist?). Becky tries to be sweet, but her drinking problem and general craziness prevents her from being a shoulder for Mary Faith to cry on. Becky is too busy stalking her husband and his new trophy wife and drinking in a parking lot.
Mary Faith’s family is working her over hard to convince her to get that little baby scraped. The aforementioned uncle is the bad cop. The aunt is clearly a presumptuous hypocrite, but she at least refuses to go on vacation until Mary Faith makes a decision so she can take her to a big city baby death factory if necessary. Mary Faith takes her up on it and then calls Becky to pick her up, leaving poor Auntie surrounded by anti-choice protesters.
Becky and Mary Faith start bonding. Mary Faith gets a motherly figure to talk to and Becky gets to feel good about herself. It’s depressing, but at least it’s symbiotic.
Mary Faith’s decision to keep the baby has consequences. Specifically, people start noticing. The principal reacts to having his prize pupil pregnant by expelling her and banning her from teaching the GED classes. This is very, very illegal. And really dick. I am changing Mr. Principal’s name to Mr. Principle because this man is no one’s pal.
Mary Faith reacts by writing a letter to the editor in the town newspaper calling the Principle out on his bullshit. Mary Faith’s family expects some blow back. Instead, the town rallies behind her and pressures the Principle to allow Mary Faith to take finals and graduate. The letter to the editor also catches the attention of the baby daddy’s parents. They knew Mary Faith’s baby wad their grandchild when they found an “intimate poem” in their son’s belongings.
Here is the shitty poem in its entirety (typed out by Terri, who uses both hands to type, rather than two fingers):
If I’m the dreamer, you are what I dream.
Don’t you know yet?
Fling the emptiness out of your arms into the spaces we breathe.
Perhaps some birds will feel the expanded air with more passion for flying.
If I am the lover, you are who I love.
All of this was mission, turning your body toward the perfect celebration.
Of me in you.
Totally gay. She’s lucky she didn’t get AIDS.
So, in Bad Father Town, Mary Faith’s dad, Jesse, is loving his time with Nell (remember her?). He decides to propose. Nell tells Jesse that she was just looking for a warm body. Oh snap! Jesse dumps her and then collapses from an anxiety attack. When Mary Faith visits Jesse in the hospital, they realize how much they need each other and promise to always be there for each other.
Mary Faith is nervous for graduation because even in a gown she looks like a sea cow. But her graduating class decides to support her by wearing pillows under their gown so they all look preggers. Why are they doing this? I thought Mary Faith had no friends?
Predictably, Mary Faith’s water breaks when she’s on stage. She shits out a kid and Becky takes her to the grandparents that are, surprise!, legally adopting the child.
TOTAL AWESOMENESS: 12
The anxiety attack and motorcycle were really nice touches. And the poem was fantastic too. Everyone in this white trash town really brought the crazy. But, like so many Lifetime movies, I needed something more.
HEY! IT’S THAT GUY!: 3
The very minor character of Nell is played by Cybill Shepherd. Jesse is played by Robert Forster who was nominated for an Oscar for Jackie Brown (never saw it).
But I will not be giving any points for Kate Capshaw’s Becky. Capshaw was the female lead in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. That movie sucked hard. And she played one of the most annoying characters in the history of popcorn cinema. Actually, no. One bonus point.
HEY! IT’S THAT GUY! 4
That extra point is because this is Kate Capshaw’s final movie. Fuck you, Kate Capshaw! I hope you got stung when you dipped your hand in that bug tunnel.
It tries to be melodramatic. But, come on. Nothing of importance happens. A boy dies, a kid is born, and so what? The two bad guys, the principle and the uncle are bad, but they get like four minutes of screen time combined.
GRAND TOTAL: 20
Average score for an average movie. Probably worth it for the poem. But I just gave you the thing in its entirety. So I really just saved you two hours. You’re welcome.