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The Wrong Mother (2017)

TV-14 | | Drama, Thriller | 8 April 2017 (USA)
Kaylene Larsen's dream finally came true: beautiful twins from an in vitro procedure. But when Kaylene needs home care, the nurse she hires is none other than the egg donor herself -- and the crazy woman has come to claim "her" babies.


Craig Goldstein


Missy Cox


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Vanessa Marcil ... Kaylene
Brooke Nevin ... Vanessa
Stephen Snedden ... Drew
Elizabeth Bond ... Samantha
Arden Richardson ... Zoey
Cooper Dodson ... Toby
Caryn West ... Mrs. Gilbert
Mykel Shannon Jenkins ... Detective Dawkins
Angelle Brooks ... Nurse Kerri
David Scott Lago ... Dr. Hayes (as David Lago)
Eric Scott Woods ... Max
Lisa Long ... Mrs.Renzy
Mo Beatty ... Stephanie (as Marisa Persson)
Nick Hargrove ... Derek
Susan Diol ... Dr. Bartelini


Kaylene Larsen's dream finally came true: beautiful twins from an in vitro procedure. But when Kaylene needs home care, the nurse she hires is none other than the egg donor herself -- and the crazy woman has come to claim "her" babies.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

nurse | twins | glasses | handgun | gun | See All (9) »


Drama | Thriller








Release Date:

8 April 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Deadly Devotion See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Vanessa Marcil had a main role with 106 appearances on Las Vegas (2003) as Samantha Marquez. The other two leading female characters here are a combination of the actress and character names: Vanessa and Samantha. See more »


After the fight for the gun, Drew and Vanessa go over the railing several feet away from each other, yet Vanessa lands on top of Drew. See more »

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User Reviews

Good-bad chemistry between the two women stars
9 April 2017 | by mgconlan-1See all my reviews

After "Girl Followed" Lifetime aired a much-hyped "premiere" that was considerably better: "The Wrong Mother," also known as "Deadly Devotion," which once again tapped the "perfect nanny" trope Lifetime has been using at least since Christine Conradt wrote the script for "The Perfect Nanny" in 2000, thereby launching her career at the network. This one, directed by Craig Goldstein from a script by Missy Cox, begins with Kaylene Larson (Vanessa Marcil) being struck by a car coming up from behind her as she rides outdoors on her bicycle. She survives but she ends up with a bad concussion, and even when the hospital releases her they want her to have home care, so she hires one of the nurses who was taking care of her to be her in-home caregiver. Alas, the in-home caregiver, Vanessa Renzi (Brooke Nevin), puts Kaylene on highly powerful opiates (getting three doctors to split the task of writing all those prescriptions) that leave her sleeping half the day and being totally groggy the rest, to the point where she can't even read a bedtime story to her children Zoey (Arden Richardson) and Toby (Cooper Dodson) without stumbling over simple words. In case you're wondering where Kaylene's husband is in all of this, his name is Drew, he's played by Stephen Snedden (your typical tall, lanky, sandy-haired type that's the good guy in a Lifetime movie — he's considerably less sexy than Joey Lawrence in "Girl Followed"!) and he works as a commercial airline pilot, so he's almost never home and that leaves Kaylene at the untender mercies of Vanessa.

In what's become a pretty typical part of the Lifetime formula, we learn that Vanessa has already drawn blood before she enters the main action and that she's the biological mother of Kaylene's children: Kaylene had her kids via in vitro fertilization from her husband's sperm and donated eggs, and Vanessa was her egg donor. Vanessa learned this by seducing a young man in charge of the database at the fertility clinic where she made the donation years before, only in the film's kinkiest scene, just when he's expecting her to straddle him and give him the sexual joyride of his young life, she wraps a cloth around his neck and strangles him instead. (Goldstein was obviously following Alfred Hitchcock's suggestion that murders should be staged like love scenes, and love scenes like murders.) The reason she did this was so she could find out where her eggs had gone, and learning that the Larsons were the only family who had children from her donated eggs, she sought them out, ran Kaylene down herself (is that really a surprise?), then impersonated a nurse at the hospital where Kaylene was being treated (it's established that she studied pharmacology in preparation for being a pharmacist but did not have a nursing degree) and used her knowledge of drugs to put Kaylene on so many opiates she'd be helpless to resist as Vanessa put her grand plan into effect. Apparently Vanessa lost it when she found out that her own reproductive organs had gone haywire and therefore she could no longer have any kids of her own, so with the knowledge that the children who had been born from her donated eggs were the only ones she'd ever have, she set out to find them and, once she did, to seduce Drew Larson away from Kaylene and get the kids to accept her as their "real" mom — which in fact she is, at least biologically.

The script isn't all that surprising and Goldstein's direction (except for that marvelously kinky murder scene) is straightforward and effective but uncreative, but where this movie scores more than most other Lifetime films along the same line is in the marvelous performances by Vanessa Marcil and Brooke Nevin as the female leads. Not only is Nevin appropriately bland and perky in the usual manner of Lifetime villainesses (their woman villains tend to be more interesting and psychologically complex than their male ones!), complete with her smarmy bedside manner — every time Kaylene tries to fight back against Vanessa's control, Vanessa assumes the guise of caring nurse and smarmily says thinks like, "I wouldn't do that," or "I'd advise against that" — she also plays the role in a tightly controlled manner that's quite different from the florid insanity Lifetime tends to give us in their male psychos. "The Wrong Mother" (not to be confused with "The Other Mother" or "Killer Mom," upcoming movies Lifetime was showing promos for during this one) is a pretty standard Lifetime-formula story, but both the quality of the writing of the two female leads and the vivid performances of Marcil and Nevin bringing them to life makes this one at least somewhat special — the two have real chemistry together and are both totally believable as antagonists.

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