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9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

This is a real goodie: scary & nasty & real!

Author: inframan from the lower depths
28 February 2002

Today's pulp novels seem to be ubiquitous, toss-it-out & forget about them TV movies. "Dying to Love You" is equivalent to the best pulp novels of the 40s & 50s by people like James M. Cain, Jim Thompson, David Goodis, Patricia Highsmith, Dorothy Hughes, Cornell Woolrich, etc. No great melodramatics, no deep message, no glamorous hero or romantic heroine. Just a gritty, menacing & very scary story right out of today's (& yesterday's & tomorrow's) headlines. Very well made, very well cast & as sweaty & nerve-wracking a 90 minutes or so as I ever want to spend watching the screen. Kudos to all involved!

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

A True Crime Story

Author: diddleysquat from United States
30 July 2004

"Dying to Love You" is based on a true crime story that happened in the early 1990s, in the Washington, DC suburbs. The film's story line is faithful to actual events, as published in a paperback book on the crime, "Deadly White Female" (1994).

The real Lisa Rohn was born Lisa Ann Miller in northern California. Raised in a trailer park-resident dysfunctional family, she married at 16 to a sailor, Steven Rohn. When the marriage fell apart, she drifted into prostitution, and accumulated a string of arrests in the San Francisco area. While working the streets, she learned to steal everything from money to credit cards from her clients. Ultimately, she headed east with a partner in crime, Raymond Huberts, and the two ran a very successful identity-theft and credit fraud scheme.

When Huberts got caught, Lisa was on her own. She took a job using one of her favorite aliases - Johnnie Elaine Miller, which happened to be the name of an older sister who had died in an accidental shooting in 1983 (believed by friends to have been a suicide).

It is here that the movie begins. Rohn, aka "Elaine," had developed a keen ability to recognize and exploit vulnerable men, and when she answered an ad placed by Roger Paulsen in the Washingtonian magazine, she knew she had found her mark.

The movie is an accurate re-telling of real events - if anything, it understates both Paulson's naivete and unscrupulousness of Rohn.

The acting is good, and the story well-written, making this one of the better made-for-TV movies. Actress Tracy Pollan, who plays Rohn in the movie, told the Los Angeles times that the film should make people "think twice" before answering personals.

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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Alternate Title: Terminal Stupidity

Author: gatebanger from United States
11 December 2002

This (allegedly) based-on-a-true story TV movie concerns a woman on the run from the FBI and a *seriously* stupid guy.

First, we have Roger Paulson (Tim Matheson), a "regular guy" type with a mind-numbing job, an ex-wife, a kid he hardly ever gets to see and some cats.

Next, there is "Elaine-Lisa-you name it" (Tracy Pollan), a smart, sexy, good looking woman whose tongue would burst into flame if she ever told the truth.

Roger and Lisa meet when she answers a lonely-hearts ad. Roger is one of these poor saps who can't seem to handle living alone, so after his wife dumped him, he places his ad.

It doesn't take long for Roger to figure out that Lisa is *not* a good person, but he has no idea how to get rid of her. He doesn't even have enough sense to change the locks on his apartment door after he throws her out.

Go ahead and watch this if you don't have anything else to do.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

True crime and a female sociopath...

Author: MarieGabrielle from United States
20 April 2006

add a vulnerable divorcée (Tim Matheson) and you have this story; the true story is based on Lisa Ann Rohne, who grew up poor, transient, and ran a ring of deception around Roger Paulson (Matheson).

Overall, this is a good suspense story, although the naiveté of the victim a bit hard to believe. Tracy Pollan is very good as Rohne, who meets the Matheson character through personal ads. (Today it would be online dating, and we now have true crime based on that as well).

It is very interesting to watch, in that Pollan consistently lies and manipulates Paulson, resides at his home and uses him to set up shop for her partner's credit card fraud, among other things. There are also supporting roles with Christine Ebersole, and Lee Garlington, who is excellent as Rita, Paulson's friend who suspects trouble.

The issue of sociopathic behaviour is interesting, in general, and it would have been worthwhile for the writers to have explored Rohne's motivations, background, etc. Given the situation with online dating today, this is clearly a subject which merits more analysis, and we will certainly be hearing more about, in today's headlines. 9/10.

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

laughable crap

Author: jack7 ( from New Hampshire
24 October 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I see one poster asked what Michael J. Fox sees in his wife, who starred in this movie. God. Look at her. To boot, she seems dedicated like someone who took her marriage vows seriously should be, sticking with Fox through his disease. She was only acting in this movie, numbnuts. Anyhow, that anyone will be reading my review of this Oscar winner anytime soon, but it was too hard to resist a sarcastic jab. At first, this flick was intriguing: decent acting with a tantalizing story -nice guy finishes first for once. Then it goes south real quick. And finally, completely absurd. When the credits revealed this to be a true story, I almost fell out of my seat. Surely it was a satire of a true story, an alternate universe take from bizarro. No dice. This idiot actually existed, and his stupidity as portrayed by Otter from Animal House was painful to watch. Roger Paulson, as depicted in this movie, deserved to be shot in the ass. Actually, spanked, then shot. Then shot again. Was Mr. Paulson really so much the idiot that he invites the recently released from jail for being a psychotic and certified nut Lisa Ann to sleep over at his house! with his kid there?! C'mon you dummy. It should be on his tombstone that his John Thomas got him killed. If only internet porn had been around back then, it would have saved him so much grief. I guess the acting was okay. That can be a director's fault. But jeez, assuming it was anywhere near to true story makes you wonder why some people aren't killed by stupidity earlier in life. Frustrating movie.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Sexy broads, Dumb guys, and kinky sex, oh my!

Author: Jayson Orleans-Perez from Jersey
24 July 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Although a well produced made for television movie, Dying to Love You reeks with low grade melodramatic splendor.

The film opens up to Roger Paulson (Tim Matheson, looking much older than I remember him to be), who is a struggling businessman that leads an empty, lonely life after his wife Ruthie (who looks suspiciously like Roseanne Arnold) leaves him with the quickness. Now all Roger has is his cats....and his ad in the newspaper.

Once his ad is answered, he calls Johnnie-Elaine-Lisa-oh it doesn't matter I'm whoever you want me to be-Lawrence. Then...they have phone sex.

I'm not sure where you're from or when you were born, but I remember that phone-sex bit was played out by the late '80's. I'm sorry but that was trashy.

Soon Roger and the broad hook up and have a whirlwind romance. They fall in love, visit the zoo to see gorillas, and then have some kinky sex with Roger's son in the other room. She ties him to the bed and seduces him.

Roger is just so stupid that he does not realize that Johnnie-Eliane is just a bimbo that loves to sleep around. God forbid women only sleep with one man. Soon enough, strange phone calls begin to occur, Johnny Girl wants Roger to marry her with absolute quickness, and she keeps ranting and raving about her ex-husband who used to beat her. It's funny to see Roger believe her through all this stuff. That's until a frumpy co-worker tells him to go snooping through her belongings like a nosy housewife. He takes her crappy advice and lo and behold, he finds a suitcase crawling with fake ID cards and wigs and guns and a crossbow. He immediately takes the suitcase to the police and has her arrested. Even though all this jazz, he still loves the dumb broad. She tells so much lies, it seems her tongue will catch fire if she tells the truth once.

Roger goes on with his life and meets an ugly woman named Angela who looks like something off of Gremlins 2. She has a child as well and Roger takes quite a liking to her. But something inside Roger's subconscious keeps him connected to Lisa Rohn (if that's even her real name) and he keeps going back to see her.

Now Lisa is the "ex that won't go away" as she "earns" herself a get out of jail free card and shows up at Roger's doorstep and his son Matt is so busy trying to check her out, he pours juice all over the floor. IL' Rog is so stupid, he throws Lisa out and doesn't even change the locks. Boy, if all people were that stupid, I wouldn't even be writing this review. The ending of this movie is so corny, you won't believe.

Tim Matheson is a Made-for-TV-Movie king. he just looks like such a dawm mummy in this movie. He's a little wooden and stiff. The dazzling Tracy Pollan works well with her role and her trampiness rings true. She is extremely beautiful and I do see what Michael J. Fox sees in her.

This movie is great to watch when you're on that late night tip, but then again, you might fall asleep, considering how dull and bland it is.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

the ultimate seductive female

Author: roseyreeltwo from United States
22 September 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

First off, I'd like to talk about the real subject here, which is Lisa Rohn and the movie portraying this incident. Let's face it, this movie has nothing to do with Micheal J Fox's relationship with his actress wife, and I'm quite sure that he couldn't care less about what shallow people have to say about them. I certainly don't. As far as Tracy Pollan is concerned, she was just doing an acting job.

In the reality of things, people going through broken relationships tend do to things that may not always make sense, even to themselves when they look back on things. Paulson was in an extremely vulnerable state, while Rohn lavished him ritually with unrestrained sex, keeping him obsessed and the money coming her way. Though, finally seeing things about Rhon he didn't like, he continued to see those things about her that attracted him. Let's not pretend to have never been there, and that he's just being an idiot. People's personalities are not black and white, and love is not easily cast to the winds. If that were true, there would be no abusers and victims in the real world, and that movie would have seemed a whole lot more exciting.

To those of you who tend to think Lisa Rohn a good and caring mother, she certainly didn't think about the best interests of her child in leading the lifestyle she did. Certainly her intelligence level was quite high, to process all the identities she'd made at her disposal. All the documents were professionally cut and pasted and stored away in alphabetical order. It's a shame she didn't put all that IQ to better use. Make no mistake about Lisa Rohn. Though petite and pretty, she was a well practiced, cold and calculating personality, devious to the end to obtain her needs.

I agree the movie was a bit on the slow side, but there wasn't much embellishment done to add to the excitement.

Yes, this is a true story, and the movie portrays most of the facts pretty much as they happened very well. Oh, and she actually did fire that last shot, just as in the movie. Pretty stupid to think she could actually get away with that one.

Her court records should be open for research, if you wish, since they are public record, though I dare say, unless you have a novelist's flair for drama, they will probably be pretty slow and boring reading.

Though this did become a yawner, I had to give credit where credit is due, for its factualism.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Frustrating film that could have been better

Author: ritaskeeter-1 from United Kingdom
21 April 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I know this film is based on a true story but the ending totally sucks. Roger Paulson (Matheson) is drawn in hook line and sinker by his new girlfriend's lies and fake tears while she takes him for everything he has, and all you want him to do is wake up and kick her to the curb.

When he finally realises that she's just using him you clap and cheer, but don't hold your breath waiting for "...and he lived happily ever after."

I'm a Tim fan so I would recommend anyone to watch this film as it's not too bad, but I have to say that the ending did leave me feeling frustrated to say the least.

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2 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

S T E A M Y ! ! ! !

Author: mommish from Baltimore, MD
24 February 2002

Not a well-made film, this made-for-TV movie will finally answer the question, "What does Michael J. Fox see in Tracy Pollan?".

Perfect cure for the "I've got the 4 a.m. insomnia blues". Otherwise, don't fail to miss it.

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1 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Frustrating film to watch.

Author: guilfisher from New York City
24 October 2004

Okay, so this was made way back in 1993. Directed loosely by Robert Iscove and written loosely by John Miglis, it's supposed to be based on a true story. Hard to believe anyone could be so stupid and blind to the truth. For certainly it was obvious from the beginning that this dame was after all she could get.

Tim Matheson, looking somewhat older than I remember him, played the empty headed man who was looking for romance in his somewhat dull and empty life. Well, it came to him in the likes of Tracy Pollan, a somewhat vacant looking girl with kinky sex as her means of conquering her guys.

Come on, phone sex, even in the 90s was old hat. Can't believe someone would fall for that old line. But Mr. Matheson seemed to buy it. And it cost him plenty.

The hardest scene to take was when he finally threw the dame out of his apartment, putting all her junk in the hallway (IN FRONT OF HIS APARTMENT) and then had the stupidity not to change the locks. That's when I had enough of this trite movie. It made me want to wish the dame had tried it on me so I could have the satisfaction of telling her to take a hike.

I give this chestnut a 1 out of 100. That's how bad I thought it was. I guess you can't blame the actors. But they were awful. Did they actually try to play this with a straight face?

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