Main cast: Karmine Alers (Laura Garcia), Ryan Vigilant (Elliot), Benjamin Weaver (Ted Kingsley), and Lue McWilliams (Lilly)
Director: Richard LeMay
Despite its intriguing title, Naked as We Came is a dire drama patterned after those direct-to-dumpster scripts that even Hallmark and Lifetime couldn’t stomach. The story is simple: Lilly is dying of a terminal disease, and she summons her estranged children Laura and Elliot to her huge bungalow. Also there is Ted, the groundskeeper and cook that has been staying with Lilly since the last six months.
Laura is suspicious of Ted, but Ted creepily puts the moves on Elliot on the first night, and those two end up in bed. Meanwhile, Lilly advises Laura on how not to mess up her life like Lilly did, and in the end, everyone is happy and free because there is nothing like an old coot dying and leaving you everything – and that’s a lot of everything – to make one’s day complete. Oh wait, I mean to say, there is nothing like forgiveness and closure and true love to make everything right in this world again. Snort.
One thing the movie did right is to tag on hidden motives to Ted’s pursuit to Elliot – that man’s behavior is too stalkerish and creepy to be perceived as normal, and the fact that Benjamin Weaver has the expressive acting ability of a potato doesn’t improve matters much. So, when Ted is revealed to be… well, not so altruistic in his motivations, it is actually a relief. Up to that point, Ted is shaping up to a stereotypical Sainted Gay Messiah archetype that is rather sickening to behold, so it’s great to know that Ted is one creepy fug all along.
As for the rest of the movie, this is a plodding, dreary thing that tries very hard to follow a formula checklist. Characters gazing ahead and taking forever to respond to anything, check. Characters taking long pauses at the most obvious breaks in their sentences, so that the other person can ask why the silence, check. Dying mother spouting vapid platitudes like living for today and other nonsense, check. Lots of maudlin gazes and tears at predictable intervals, check.
Naked as We Came is, at the end of the day, an amateurish movie crammed with clumsy acting, corny lines, and Benjamin Weaver doing his best impersonation of a wobbling potato. If you have seen any Hallmark or Lifetime TV movie featuring some dying old coot, you have already seen a far better version of this movie.