To Di For: Worst TV-Movie of the Year
Jennifer Morrison in The Murder of Princess Diana courtesy Lifetime Entertainment
I would have added "worst TV-movie ever" to the above teaser, but I've been around long enough to remember that sick moment of time when all three major networks made colliding Amy Fisher TV-movies.
TV is currently steeped in Princess Diana memorabilia again, with news and entertainment specials pegged to the 10-year anniversary of her shocking death on Aug. 31 in 2007. Some aim high, some aim low, and I'm not going to pretend to be engaged in most of this posthumous star-gazing. But you'd think Lifetime, with its female-friendly skew, would go the respectful route.
Instead, the channel has commissioned one of the most depressingly irresponsible and numbingly dull TV-movies since the genre was invented. Even worse, Lifetime is shoving it down its viewers' throats. The icky and silly
The Death of Princess Diana
premieres Saturday night, when it's easy to ignore, but will be repeated Sunday in advance of its prime-time lineup (including the first-season finale of the hit
) and again on Monday, after a replay of the
finale. And as a final slap in the face, it's being played yet again on Aug. 31, as some sort of twisted tribute, I guess, to the dead but hardly forgotten princess.
For all I know, many out there do harbor suspicions that there was a conspiracy afoot in the cloudy circumstances involving the infamous car crash in a Paris tunnel. But surely it would make more sense than the half-baked scenarios concocted by this piece of pulp nonsense, which mostly involves sending a preposterously unbelievable fictional journalist (
Jennifer Morrison, slumming) running through the Paris streets making wild suppositions, while keeping her editors mostly out of the loop until the conspiracy starts coming after them as well.
Contempt turned into ridicule as I watched in disbelief the ridiculous sequence where Morrison actually witnesses the tragedy, having hopped aboard a photographer's motorcycle during the pursuit and then wandering around the tunnel in a flaming red dress. She eventually winds up in her policeman boyfriend's apartment, where she curls up and goes to sleep. Without calling her editor.
Good grief. I was working for a national daily at the time, jet-lagged from a vacation to Australia, and yet when I saw what had happened, I didn't sleep for at least a day, watching events unfold on TV from the U.S. and knowing I'd have to file an analysis of the TV coverage. This little tangent, of course, misses the point of just how inept and offensive the movie truly is.
It is both fatuous and self-righteous, as the reporter heroine continually declares she's above such frivolous tripe as covering an ex-royal, while the movie itself wallows in its association with the tragedy of Diana (who before her death is glimpsed mainly from a distance as she ducks the paparazzi).
I didn't think I'd see anything all summer to match the vile soul-numbing poison of what's currently going on in the Dick-infested
The Murder of Princess Diana
beats it. Avoid at all costs.