May 25, 2024  |  
 | Remer,MN
Sponsor:  QWIKET.COM 
Sponsor:  QWIKET.COM 
Sponsor:  QWIKET.COM 
Sponsor:  QWIKET.COM Sports Media Index – Perfect for Fantasy Sports Fans.
Sponsor:  QWIKET.COM Sports Media Index – Perfect for Fantasy Sports Fans. Track media mentions of your fantasy team.
NY Post
21 Oct 2023

NextImg:Stream It Or Skip It: ‘Bad Romance: The Vicky White Story’ on Lifetime, About A Prison Guard Who Breaks Her Lover Out Of The Clink

Where to Stream:

Bad Romance: The Vicky White Story

Powered by Reelgood

Bad Romance: The Vicky White Story, airing this week on Lifetime, is a lot of things at once: a profile of a desperate woman, an exciting police pursuit, a twisted romance. Based on the real story of prison guard Vicky White who, in 2022, broke her lover, felon Casey White, out of jail and fled, the film is faithful to the real-life events that occurred and a solid entry into the Lifetime Movie canon.

Opening Shot: Prison guard Vicky White leads a handcuffed prisoner to a patrol car. She drives away from the prison where she works and pulls into a parking lot where she declares, “I just busted you out of jail!”

The Gist: Vicky White works inside a detention center that serves as a holding facility for prisoners awaiting trial. She’s well-loved by her colleagues, but nothing new ever happens there. On a visit to see her ex-husband Tommy, who is terminally ill, she likens her life to “that groundhog movie,” bemoaning the fact that it’s always the same thing, day after day after day.

That is, until the day that a prisoner named Casey White is transferred to her facility. There’s almost no crime that Casey hasn’t committed or attempted, and yet Vicky carries on a flirtation with him has she transports him to and from court in her squad car. (As he flirts, he jokes that, since they have the same last name, maybe they’re “kissing cousins”).

At first, Vicky assumes Casey is just flirting because she’s the only woman around in the male-dominated prison, but Casey flatters her by telling her he thinks she’s a good person, and this compliment resonates with Vicky; she appreciates that he seems to really see her. When Casey is sent to a maximum security prison after attempting to break out of the detention center, this allows Vicky to actually start to pursue him romantically without worrying that her colleagues will find out. She sends him letters and photos, and they engage in phone sex (as much as they can while he’s on a public phone at the prison). When Casey loses an appeal on his sentence, he comes up with a plan: confess to one of the murders he’s been charged with so he’ll get a new trial and can be transferred back to Vicky’s facility.

Around the same time that Casey returns to Vicky’s life in person, Vicky’s ex, Tommy, dies. The pair were still close and after his death she has something of an existential crisis: Tommy died without truly living, and Vicky really doesn’t wish than on herself. So she sells her house, gives notice at her job, and comes up with a plan to bust Casey out during a routine transport to the courthouse. Vicky manages this with little trouble, and for the last third of the movie, we watch the pair on the lam, though the dynamics of their relationship shift. Casey, who has always been sexy and dangerous to Vicky, is something of a challenging travel partner. His first impulse is to shoot up anyone who poses a problem for them, while all Vicky wants to do is peacefully make a run for the border to live out the rest of her days anonymously. [SPOILER ALERT if you don’t want the ending ruined:] As they evade the police for a while, their luck finally runs out when they’re spotted, and a high-speed chase ensues, ending in Casey’s capture and Vicky’s suicide.

Photo: Lifetime

What Shows Will It Remind You Of? Vicky White’s story is very similar to that of Joyce Mitchell, a prison employee in upstate New York who aided two inmates, one of whom she had a sexual relationship with, in a prison escape that was depicted in the Ben Stiller-directed series Escape at Dannemora.

Our Take: I, like I’m sure many people, have a habit of using “Lifetime movie” as a descriptor for a movie that’s playing AAA ball, occasionally with former Major Leaguers on the field. Lifetime movies, by nature of being made for TV, are not going for highbrow brilliance, but there’s an art to the way they’re made that renders them not-so-guilty pleasures for many. The reason that Lifetime has produced more than 500 movies over the years is simple: they are usually pure, escapist entertainment.

The way that Vicky White’s story is told, with Wendi McLendon-Covey performing her heart out as a desperate woman who finds a way to make life worth living, is a little over-the-top, often funny, and totally entertaining. In other words, it is a classic Lifetime movie in the best sense of the words. Rossif Sutherland (half-brother to Kiefer, in case you were wondering), is believably dangerous but also tender with Vicky, although the film seems to suggest at times that Vicky’s love for him is tempered with a dose of fear. But that seems to add to the thrill of it for her. I don’t think this movie would be as entertaining if it weren’t for McLendon-Covey’s dramatic performance: we’ve come to expect comedy from her, but Vicky is a sad woman, and her fate is what we ultimately care about thanks to the thoughtful and empathetic way she’s portrayed.

Sex and Skin: Casey and Vicky have plenty of phone sex that’s somewhat played for laughs (at one point she says, “You like that, baby? Well, good because I’m about to go in for round two and I’m gonna have to spit out my gum if you know what I’m talking about!”) , as well as some passionate kissing that leads to offscreen sex.

Parting Shot: [SPOILERS AGAIN] Casey is led away in handcuffs while Vicky lies injured and trapped in their overturned car. As Casey hollers to the authorities, “Someone check on my wife!” Vicky locates a handgun and we hear a blast from inside the car. An epilogue explains that Vicky died, her death ruled a suicide, while Casey was send back to serve the remainder of his 75-year sentence in prison.

Performance Worth Watching: I was curious what McLendon-Covey would do with this role, given that she became famous for wearing a police uniform on Reno 911! for years and sending up law enforcement. Her portrayal of Vicky is, for the most part, a complete 180 from Reno, she plays her as a woman desperate for love, desperate for a sense of purpose. She ultimately ends up making a choice that most of us wouldn’t make, but one that makes her feel alive for once.

Memorable Dialogue: “I work at a prison all day. I come home, and I’m still in a prison,” Vicky tells her mom as she explains why she’s started acting erratically and wants to change her life. In truth, it’s because she wants to spend the rest of her days with Casey, but she can’t quite bring herself to admit that to her mom.

Our Call: STREAM IT! Bad Romance has it all, a darkly funny romance, police chases, bad wigs… Vicky White’s story is tragic, and to it’s credit, this movie allows us to sympathize with her and understand exactly why she would make such desperate choices.

Liz Kocan is a pop culture writer living in Massachusetts. Her biggest claim to fame is the time she won on the game show Chain Reaction.