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Donal Lardner Ward
Loudon Wainwright III
This sensational true story of a near fatal attraction left Mary Jo Buttafuoco paralyzed for life and made Amy Fisher America's most infamous teenager. Imprisoned 5-15 years for a crime she confessed to Fisher has nothing to lose by telling how it was-her way, her story. Deception, Promiscuous Sex, and Violence. Written by
I can remember when the Amy Fisher/Joey Buttafuoco saga happened and it being in the news and all but, at the time, I was only mildly interested and mostly thought the whole situation (not including Mary Jo) was asinine.
Recently, for some reason, I've been very interested and have seen all three movie versions to try and suss out what happened and why it happened. I think a lot of people (other than being drawn in by the sordidness of it all) just wanted to know, especially at the time that it happened, how something so bizarre could occur.
The other two movie versions, The Amy Fisher Story with Drew Barrymore and Casualties of Love: The Long Island Lolita Story with Alyssa Milano are pretty good and well acted but feel kinda like the "tabloid" version in the way all parties involved are treated. In the AM version, Joey is depicted as a harmless victim and Amy like a psycho sex-pot (and kinda manic). The best thing about that movie is that it's the one where you get a very good viewpoint from what may have been Mary Jo's perspective and what she suffered. The DB version, depicts Amy as (exclusively) cold-hearted, cold-blooded, abusive to her parents, slut, etc. The problem with the way she is portrayed in those movies is that they feel like caricatures of a real person. I'm not saying that Amy doesn't have some of those aspects to her personality (she probably does), I just don't believe those one-dimensional interpretations of her.
This movie, Lethal Lolita, which was a made-for-TV version also, feels the most realistic in it's interpretation of all parties involved. There isn't much of Mary Jo, but Amy, Joey, her friends and her parents all ring true in the way they are portrayed. The events and details unfold in a believable and much more understandable way. One of the problems I have with the other two movies is that they gloss over the issue of child molestation of Amy at the hands of her father. That is something that goes a long way in explaining some of Amy's "issues" and does a disservice to her by not making more of that point. This movie doesn't push that point heavily but does give it more importance. One of the things I liked about this version is that it gets more into the details of the party's personal motivations. Much of what is happening is subtle emotionally but more truthfully explains what happened, how it happened and why in a more objective, realistic and intelligent manner. I'd say if you're really that interested in the whole thing, watch all three. They are all fun to watch but I feel this one is the most believable.
I think some people who don't like this version don't because it doesn't paint the people involved as all black or all white. They are mostly shown as being amazingly screwed-up, emotionally unstable, overly self-involved (narcissistic) with incredibly bad judgment. You do see Joey's manipulation of Amy more clearly though which isn't an excuse for her but at least gives a fairer telling of her story than the other two. If you don't care for a version with subtle complexities that you have to pay attention to to catch, you'll probably like the other versions better.
One more note, another reviewer mentioned that they paid $90 for their tape. I know some dealers in Amazon were charging outlandish prices for this flick--some aren't. It's not worth $90. Personally, I don't think any movie is worth $90.
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