Story: Bridget (Lauren Swickard) is fresh off her college graduation and she plans to start her post-school life with a big change, moving to a whole city. Her mother Jolene (Elise Robertson) is worried about her of course, but she trusts her daughter and takes comfort in knowing that Bridget’s best friend Lindsey (Aubrey Reynolds) is also making the move. While Bridget wants to be a writer like her father, she knows she will likely have to find a day job to support her living expenses, at least until she is able to gain traction with her personal blog. After a dating mishap, Bridget meets Anthony (Brent Bailey) and he is so impressed with her, he makes her a job offer on the spot. She accepts and finds herself doing errands and such for Anthony, who pays her $10k a month, but she has second thoughts when she learns she needs to entertain one of Anthony’s clients at dinner. But with her financial woes gone and her blog blowing up thanks to her stories from work, has Bridget found the perfect job or will she discover there’s a lot more going on than meets the eye?
Entertainment Value: The “Her Deadly” franchise from Lifetime has given us some fun thrillers, so I trusted Her Deadly Sugar Daddy would be worth a gamble. The story is pretty much summed up in the film’s title, as our lead navigates the world of being a sugar baby, while potential dark times close in around her. The writing is about what you’d expect, as Lifetime loves to pit naive good girls against sadistic, evil villains and that’s what we have here. This makes things interesting and off kilter, as Bridget ignores a tidal wave of red flags without blinking an eye, which can be humorous at times for all the unintended reasons. But her total lack of awareness was fun to watch, even if it doesn’t make her the most sympathetic character around. The material is over the top, to be sure, but the movie reels it in at times before it goes off the deep end. I’d prefer to have the melodrama dialed up to maximum, but here it is snuffed out once it reaches a certain point of being ridiculous. The finale does ramp things up a little, but I think things could have used a big boost in craziness. In the end, Her Deadly Sugar Daddy is more than watchable, but can’t compare to the Lifetime psycho thriller classics out there, leaving it with just a basic recommendation.
As I have said countless times before, I think the villain usually dictates how much fun a Lifetime movie is, since the writers usually save the memorable moments for the evil characters. In this case, Brent Bailey is fine as the bad guy, but he doesn’t go for broke and the script lets him down, as it just doesn’t give him much to do. I would have included Anthony in more of the movie, instead of so much time devoted to Bridget’s dull personal life. When he is given the chance to chew some scenes, he steps up a little, but never charges into that villain sweet spot like some of his peers. I think his performance is fine and in line with mid tier Lifetime villains, but I always hope for a “Psycho Wedding Crasher” level psycho, since those characters really elevate these movies. The cast also includes Lauren Swickard, Aubrey Reynolds, Elise Robertson, and Jack Merrill.