Lifetime opens its floodgate doors, and out rushes another hit into the glorious field of Cablevision. Rob Lowe has been on a roll these past few years. Since his 1988 sex tape debacle, (“She was underage? Whaaaa?”) he has managed to regenerate his career time and time again. Starring in The West Wing. Yucking it up in Wayne’s World and Tommy Boy. Writing the NY Times bestseller, Stories I Only Tell My Friends. Creating and sustaining the brilliant Chris Traeger on one of the best television shows of the moment, Parks and Recreation. How could he possibly top himself?
As the star of Lifetime’s Untouchable, Lowe takes on the homely Illinois accent of his character’s real-life incarnation; after all, the story is based on true events. Drew Peterson was charged with the murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio. His story went national due to the dirty cop aspect, and his eccentric attitude towards the media. Lowe holds nothing back in his portrayal of Peterson. As Kirk Lazarus said to Tugg Speedman in Tropic Thunder, “Tom Hanks, Forrest Gump. Slow, yes. Retarded, maybe. Braces on his legs. But he charmed the pants off Nixon and won a ping-pong competition. That ain’t retarded. Peter Sellers, Being There. Infantile, yes. Retarded, no. You went full retard, man. Never go full retard.” Lowemay have gone “full retard” on this part, taking on a slit-eyed stare and a crooked grin that looks like a bad impersonation of Clint Eastwood. And yet, you won’t be able to keep your eyes off the beautiful son of a bitch.
The film opens with Lowe having sex with Savio. In walks their 6-year-old. How would you handle this situation? Cover up, duck and hide, right? Well that’s not what the “ballsy” Peterson does. Naw, he stands up full mast for his little boy to see, and then asks him to leave. When his wife chides him for his behavior, Peterson responds warmly, “You were gettin’ too much good lovin’ from Big Daddy.” Oh yeah, Peterson calls himself Big Daddy.
From there we find out how Big Daddy feels about women, “If they get with me they’ll get lucky… As long as they’re hot.” Fact. He meets his next wife, Stacy Peterson, played by The Big Bang Theory’s Kaley Cuoco, at the hotel where she works as a concierge. She plays the part with such wooden sultriness, we almost believe her when she stands up to Peterson’s ex-wife, saying, “I’ll never be like you, mean and bitter. This house is going to be full of love and laughter.” But the grass isn’t always greener, is it Stacey? “Everything’s fine. Drew just threw me into the TV. Wanna help me make some margaritas?” Especially when you’re dealing with Big Daddy and his constant fellatial needs: “Job is the word, now put blow in front of it.” Boom.
But there’s so much more to learn from Peterson. Drew, how do you feel about the present state of mothers in America? “Used to be a man could keep his wife pregnant and in the house.” Interesting. Very interesting. Do you ever feel sad? “I don’t pout, it’s not my style.” And why would it be, you’re a man, right? “The true colors of a nasty bitch show themselves eventually.” So true, So true.
These are just a few of the gems that litter this gorgeous piece of cinema. The title comes from Big Daddy’s catch phrase, “I’m untouchable bitch,” and the film is worth watching for those three words alone. See it on Lifetime this Saturday, Jan. 21 at 8 p.m.
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