Main cast: Tori Spelling (Laurel Lewisohn), Ivan Sergei (Kevin Shane), and Lisa Banes (Jessica Lewisohn)
Director: Jorge Montesi
It’s an indisputable law of existence that anything with Tori Spelling in it is going to be an unmitigated disaster, one with such atrocious levels of badness that the movie becomes a sheer joy to watch in a perverse way. Mother, May I Sleep with Danger? has become a cult classic over the years, and it’s easy to see why. It is so awful that it becomes such a cheese fest to enjoy, especially with lots of alcohol.
Like most of the movies that made their debut on TV, this one is aimed at mothers who crave validation for their belief that their daughters would be raped, murdered, and more the moment these daughters step out of the house without their mothers’ guidance leading them along the path of virtue. It is also a little bit more than the usual cheaply-made TV shows aimed at women – this one was initially planned for theatrical release in the US, but no one wanted to do the dirty work to put it out there on the big screens. So, TV it was.
Based on a novel of the same name, this movie opens with a guy, who will be identified as Kevin Shane later in the movie, beating his girlfriend to death when he realizes that (a) the young lady has cheerfully removed his poetry and other crap from her dressing table and (b) she wants to break up with him. “If you don’t love me, why do you let me make love to you?” he shouts as he brains her, and that sets the tone of this movie.
Cut to present day, when our heroine Laurel Lewisohn decides to introduce her new boyfriend Kevin to her mother Jessica. Laurel and Jessica already have a somewhat rocky relationship when Jessica told everyone that Laurel had a eating disorder, so when Jessica suspects that Kevin is not whom he claims to be, Laurel’s instinctive reaction is to shoot her mother down and assume that Jessica is just being a judgmental know-it-all again. What do you know, Kevin is insane. His idea of a perfect girlfriend is one whom he can completely control, and the moment Laurel shows signs of wanting him to stop being so clingy, he turns into the boyfriend from hell.
Mother, May I Sleep with Danger? is so absurd and yet so hilarious. If you drink each time Kevin screams insanely how much he loves Laurel, you’d be dead from liver failure by the time the credits roll. The script is so repetitive to the point that every other word from Kevin is “love”, “perfect”, or “LAUREL!” Therefore, by the time Kevin shows the full extent of his craziness, he is basically screaming variations of the same few lines over and over – so funny.
It’s a good thing that Kevin is such an idiot in this movie, or else there won’t be happy ending since Laurel is only slightly smarter than he is. Laurel can be laugh-out-loud stupid pretty often, from accepting a drink from someone she knows is crazy (gee, what can go wrong?) to running out of a car (which works perfectly fine) back into the house in order to avoid an ax-crazy dude. But it is fortunately easy to outwit Kevin because every time, without fail, all you have to do to make him pause in his act of trying to kill you is to assure him that you love him again and this time it would be amazing. Laurel is smart enough to quickly catch on and capitalize on this.
In addition to being a gullible twat, Kevin is also unintentionally hilarious. This is the guy who, in the midst of choking Laurel, insists that they are just having the perfect romantic getaway. She will see – he’d show her how right they are together. Ivan Sergei’s overwrought delivery only makes his over the top lines even more funny. He and Ms Spelling are well-matched in how their… uh, underwhelming acting abilities turn out to be blessings in disguise, as their screen presence and the awful lines they are saying all come together to create the ultimate comedy. As Jessica, Lisa Banes adds to the hilarity by playing the exasperated woman who is probably the smartest person in this movie, but she is unable to do anything because she is surrounded by idiots.
Mother, May I Sleep with Danger? is not a first class thriller by any means, but if you adjust your expectations or are looking for something to play in the background during your booze party, this one may just deliver the goods. It’s not a good option for Netflix and chill, though, unless you don’t mind being distracted by the comedy on the screen and end up watching the whole thing as a result.