Plot: Sky (Sidney Nicole Rogers) is a bright teen with a lot of potential, but after the death of her father, she has struggled to move on. Her behavior has become problematic and after a physical altercation with another student, she finds herself on the brink of expulsion. Her mother Claire (Vivica A. Fox) loves her and tries to help her, but Sky pulls back from those gestures and refuses to open up. But Claire has a plan and hopes that a vacation will help bring them closer, perhaps even allow Sky to finally relax and process her emotions a little. The two embark on a cruise and while the idea was some family bonding, the women find themselves drawn into potential romances quick soon after the ship sets sail. But is this just a case of tropical fun and romance, or is there a darker plan afoot aboard this cruise?
Entertainment Value: This is another Lifetime thriller from cult favorite David DeCoteau and while this isn’t as unhinged as some of the network’s melodramas, The Wrong Cruise is a fun, brisk thriller. The narrative is familiar of course, but this is Lifetime, so to expect wildly fresh storylines is a tad optimistic, but this movie works well despite the well worn tropes involved. The plot centers on the relationship between Sky and Claire, so for the movie to work, that needs to have some authentic feel and thanks to the performers involved, it does. The actresses have good chemistry and a dynamic that makes it seem like a real mother/daughter relationship, especially when there is some light banter. Vivica A. Fox dials up the overprotective mom vibes to fun levels, while Sidney Nicole Rogers’ annoyed teen shtick is humorous, especially her many, many eye rolls. The pace moves at a nice clip, though the toned down melodrama might leave some Lifetime fans a little let down. But there is some drama and I think most Lifetime fans will find a lot to like here.
No nakedness. No surprises in this area, as this is a Lifetime movie and while there are threads of romance in The Wrong Cruise, there’s no sexual content, just tropical flirtations. No blood. There are some tense moments, such as women being drugged and mild violence, but the bad stuff happens off screen. So we see some people tied up and threatened, but the violence is minimal. I love a wild, over the top Lifetime movie that revels in the crazier elements, but The Wrong Cruise takes a more grounded approach, so the lack of sleaze and violence makes sense. The dialogue reflects that more reeled in style, as there is some light family drama and tough guy talk, but not the kind of melodramatic craziness that Lifetime sometimes unleashes. I think the dialogue goes hand in hand with the rest of the movie’s tone, so while I miss the madness, this laid back style works here. On the craziness scale, this one keeps thing toned down and so there’s minimal melodrama or wild moments. But I will award one point for William McNamara, who is as creepy as ever here.
Overall Insanity: 1/10