Lifetime aired its buzzed-about biopic on the late Brittany Murphy — aptly titled The Brittany Murphy Story — Saturday night. Controversy reached a fever pitch last week when Murphy’s father Angelo Bertolotti told Examiner he is “outraged” by the “hideous, unauthorized, and completely untrue” film. However, after watching the movie, he isn’t too far off-base.
Lifetime aired its highly-anticipated movie The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story last night, and one thing is pretty clear by the credits: It was a hard knock four years for Screech (Dustin Diamond). Narrated by Bayside High School’s resident geek — and loosely based off Diamond’s 2009 tell-all Behind the Bell — Unauthorized puts Screech in one corner and his pretty-preppy co-stars (Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Mario Lopez, Lark Voorhies, Elizabeth Berkley and Tiffani Thiessen) in the other. For two hours, we watch Diamond yearning to be hotter, edgier, drunker (yup) — and the whole thing is really, really depressing.
Nearly five years after her death, Lifetime is bringing Brittany Murphy’s story to the small screen. The network — famous for its biopics of dead celebrities — announced on Tuesday that it will premiere the two-hour television movie on Sept. 6.
In the wisest of wise career movies, Hayden Panettiere defended convicted killer Amanda Knox, whom Hayden is portraying in Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial in Italy, premiering Feb. 21 on Lifetime. And we thought Hayden was committing career suicide by appearing in Scream 4!Ã‚Â “I believe in the person that she deep down was. And I think that no matter, regardless of innocent or guilty, I believe she was a… she has a spirit,” Pannettiere says of Knox, who was convicted of murdering Meredith Kurcher, alongside her boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito. “She was a young girl who had dreams and aspirations and was going to Italy to go to school and to broaden her horizons and have experiences and meet new people. And I don’t think that guilty or innocent takes away from that.” Well, it takes away some of it. Like, the ability to leave a prison cell for the next 26 years.
Despite Hayden’s kind words, Knox’s lawyers are threatening Lifetime with legal action if the movie isn’t pulled by Feb. 10. “My job was to play a girl who, regardless of what happened, was innocent in who she was. She’s not a malicious girl. She didn’t have any intention to do this. This wasn’t an angry or dark girl,” Panettiere claims. You know, just because an actor portrays a convicted murderer in a movie, that doesn’t mean he or she has to actually like that convicted murderer. Charlize Theron managed able to star in Monster without gushing about how innocent and spirited Aileen Wuornos was, and guess what? That’s right: Theron got an Oscar. Oh, also, no one thought she was a moron.