lifetimeThere’s something truly magical about waking up early on Saturday morning, pulling on some sweatpants, eating a piece of cold leftover pizza, and turning on the Lifetime Movie Network. This week’s offering was Maternal Instincts – a Delta Burke vehicle in which she plays a woman who descends into madness after a hysterectomy. After accidentally killing her husband during a rage a few days after the operation (which a was necessary procedure to remove cancer) Burke plots to ruin the life of (and steal the future baby of) the pregnant doctor who gave her the operation. You might even say she’s a woman who is designing a plan to kill the doctor who wronged her.

I found this movie to be simply baffling – I actually looked it up on the Internet Movie Database to see if it was a spoof of a physiological thriller or if it was a real, actual psychological thriller. What I found was a bunch of other confused people posting reviews from around the world who also couldn’t tell if it was a serious film or a comedy. No one could offer anything conclusive. I – I – I still don’t know. I really just don’t know.

I could tell you about the scene in which Burke crazily breaks the tips of a bunch of freshly sharpened pencils, one after another, over and over again. Or I could tell you how, even though having a hysterectomy was a terrible blow to her emotional state, the sudden, violent death of her husband didn’t seem to bother her or any other character in the movie, not even for a single scene. Or I could tell you about how she throws a temper tantrum in a bathroom stall that could have easily won whatever the opposite of an Oscar is. Or I could tell you about the climactic final scene, in which Delta Burke and the doctor she hates duel with giant, industrial wrenches in the hospital boiler room.

Or, perhaps I could tell you that throughout the entire movie, Burke is wearing pieces from her popular clothing line, Delta Burke Design.

I don’t know. If it is a spoof – if everyone on set had a good time making it and the writers and the director really got a kick out of creating this film – then I think it’s wonderful. If this was a serious effort, though, if Burke, say, spent six months in a psychiatric ward in order to find her character’s emotional center and then stayed in character even during meal breaks and off set, then I still think it’s wonderful. Just in a different way.

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