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The Amanda Knox Lifetime Movie Was Terrible!

I haven’t been this disappointed since I watched the last episode of Lost.

The Lifetime network’s dramatization of the Amanda Knox trial had everything going for it…ripped from the headlines excitement, star power in the form of Hayden P and Marcia Gay, and Lifetime’s track record when it comes to making hilariously bad TV movies.

In case you’re not aware of the real story: Amanda Knox, an student from Seattle studying abroad in Italy, was accused and eventually convicted of the murder of her British roommate, which she allegedly committed in concert with her Italian boyfriend Raffaelle Sollecito and a drifter/drug peddler, Rudy Guede. There were international incidents galore, tons of gory details, and in the end, the young American college student was jailed for life 26 years.

After the triumph that was “The Craigslist Killer,” which took a gruesome and sad event and made it into a piece of cheesy television, the Knox movie looked like it could be the best Lifetime movie yet. It was actually really bad — boring and depressing.

While I was watching the morose and convoluted narrative, I came up with a few ways this movie could have been better. Lifetime, before you make another true-crime movie, call me. I’ll get you back on track next time.

#1. Change the Absurd Title

This movie was called “Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial in Italy.” What does that mean? That murder ITSELF was on trial?

Did nobody sit up in a production meeting and say “Hey guys, shouldn’t we call this ‘On Trial For Murder in Italy’?”

I would have gone with a line from the prosecutor’s final argument. “Amanda Knox: An Unstoppable Crescendo of Frenzied Violence.”

#2. Cast Rachel Bilson as the evil Amanda Knox

The movie takes pains to be objective. But what if they decided to make a movie where Amanda Knox definitely did it? I’d wager that it would have been better. They could have avoided lawsuits by changing the names and facts JUST enough that it became “fiction.”

Also, they could cast someone who looks more like the real Amanda Knox…someone whose career has hit the skids and wouldn’t be above doing a Lifetime movie. Someone who could convincingly play the temptress vixen that the Italian prosecutors accuse Knox of being.

Someone like Rachel Bilson!

Fatten Bilson up a little bit and she would have been perfect.

This movie would have instantly gotten better with Bilson as an evil Foxy Knoxy, manipulating the men into murdering her roommate, all because Meredith made her do the dishes and put her vibrator in an opaque container.

I can see it now, over the top and awesome.

#3. Cast a D-List Italian-American actor as the Italian Prosecutor

“Craigslist” scored big time with Billy Baldwin in the role of a Bawston Police detective investigating the case. I think “Amanda Knox” blew it by not taking a similar tack, and instead casting a sturdy unknown in the role.

I think Lifetime movies are a lot better when some marginal celebrity is using them to desperately hang onto any fame they have left. They overact their scenes in magnificent fashion.

The guy they cast actually did a believable job, and I bought into him being this prosecutor. That’s not what we’re looking for at all.

They should have found someone to play the part in a more overbaked performance, either as a total villain out to railroad Knox or as a decent public servant just trying to do the right thing. Ideally, they could get a stereotypically Italian-American celebrity for this job.

Basically, this movie would been a lot better with Paulie Walnuts as the prosecutor.

If he isn’t available, I would also accept DJ Pauly D.

#4. The “HIV Positive” Scene Should Have Been More Like This

There’s a part of the movie where the prison doctors tell Hayden P that she has the Hiv.

They get her to reveal all her past sexual partners.Then they give that list to the press and tell Hayden, “Psych! The only disease you have is guilty-of-murder-itis.”

This was actually one of the more redeeming parts of the movie, but it still could have been better.

It could have been like this:

#5. More Montages!

This movie had one massive, massive flaw. There were zero montages.

Inconceivable and unforgivable.

There are so many occasions in which a montage would have been ideal:

  • When Hayden P first went to Italy and was enjoying the Mediterranean lifestyle, banging dudes and doing hash and chilling out all day. Cue up a little “Soak up the Sun” by Sheryl Crow while she goes full on continental, frolicking nude in a vineyard.
  • When Knox and Sollecito are meeting, courting, falling in love and boning. Maybe a little “Firework” by Katy Perry? Definitely concluding with a very sexy love scene.
  • The interrogation scenes, maybe with a little “Under Pressure.” Help us better understand why Knox falsely accused a brother of the crime with the power of montage.
  • A Ghostbusters-esque montage of tawdry press headlines about Foxy Knoxy as the trial develops. There were some real winners there, but they spoiled it by putting it in a serious scene with the aggrieved parents. Would’ve been better with a blur of incriminating headlines set to “Rumors” by Lindsay Lohan.

#6. Nobody Cares About The Prosecutor’s Dark Past

So apparently the prosecutor committed some kind of malfeasance in the Monster of Florence case, a notorious crime event in Italy. He illegally wiretapped some people. Who cares? Way too much attention was paid to this subplot, to the detriment of the movie.

I know that “the prosecutor is shady” is a major argument in the “Amanda Knox was railroaded” line of reasoning, but either go all in with it, or don’t. Make him an evil asshole who wiretaps illegally and stops at nothing to get a conviction, or just cut that part out.

This basically echoes my fundamental problem with this movie and why it was not entertaining. By bending over backwards to be objective, the filmmakers left us with nobody to root for, and they aren’t skilled enough to make a Rashomon-type movie where we see the crime from a bunch of perspectives.

The result was a boring, depressing movie filled with subplots that we never really care about.

#7. The Exact Same Movie, But She Winks At The Audience at the End

All my problems would have been alleviated if at the very end of the movie, Hayden P as Amanda Knox looked right at the audience and winked. Maybe laughed evilly a little bit. I would have stood up and cheered.

“Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial in Italy” premiered last night and is currently in re-runs on Lifetime.

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About Alpine McGregor
Just like you, man. I got the shotgun, you got the briefcase. All in the game, though, right?

3 Responses to The Amanda Knox Lifetime Movie Was Terrible!

  1. dana says:

    Amanda Knox was sentenced to 26 years, less than a life sentence. In other words, before criticizing someone’s portrayal of the trial, get your facts right dear(:

    • Thanks for the clarification, although I don’t think that really changes anything about why this movie was so lame.

  2. Harry Rag says:

    The English translation of the Italian Supreme Court report which explains why Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito’s acquittals were annulled can be downloaded from the Perugia Murder File website:

    http://www.perugiamurderfile.org/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=599

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