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Lifetime Movie Expecting Amish Sure Did Take Its Time Getting To That Pregnancy

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Lifetime Movie Expecting Amish Sure Did Take Its Time Getting To That Pregnancy Lifetime Movie Expecting Amish AJ Michalka July 2014 jpg

It shouldn’t be a spoiler to tell you that last night’s Lifetime movie Expecting Amish involved a pregnancy. Not only does it say so in the online movie description, but the movie’s called Expecting Amish. The only way it could be more obvious what the movie’s about is if it were called Pregnant Amish or I’m An Amish Girl Who Had Sex With A Non-Amish Boy And Now I’m Carrying His Baby. Except it took way too long for the movie to get to that. Am I being nit-picky? Maybe. But waiting so long to reveal that part of the story just made it look like a last-minute effort to raise the stakes, when it would have worked just fine without it. I actually found the first part of the movie to be kinda sorta cute, in spite of myself.

Our teen of the week is Hannah, a young Amish woman played by AJ Michalka (cue “Potential Breakup Song” in my head for the rest of the night). Hannah has worked hard to take care of her family since her mother’s death, and she has her future all planned out. She’s going to be baptized into the Church and marry Samuel. Samuel is played by Jean-Luc Bilodeau. You might recognize him as that guy from the Baby Daddy promos. Hopefully not from Baby Daddy itself, because really? I expected more from you.

Before her baptism, Hannah is given the opportunity to go on Rumspringa with some of the other teens. It’s like a vacation where you decide whether or not you want to spend the rest of your life allowed to use a toaster or having to get up at 5 in the morning to milk cows. This Rumspringa is to Los Angeles, and I can’t decide if that’s a brilliant idea or a terrible one. LA provides a very extreme view of the real world, but I suppose if you want to weed out certain people, that’s the kind of environment you should put them in. Even though Hannah feels a responsibility to her family, she decides out of curiosity to go on the trip.

I’ve seen Breaking Amish, so the whole “I don’t understand how taxis work. Oh, look over there, what’s that? I need new clothes! Look how cute I am in my new clothes! Let’s go to a club and get drunk! Oh no, now I have a hangover. Why aren’t you having any fun with us? What a party pooper!” thing that ensued was not new to me. In this case Hannah is the one the others think is a party pooper, since she keeps her Amish clothes and avoids the party scene to take calls from Samuel, who ventured out to what is undoubtedly one of the last few phone booths in the country just to talk to her. Ah, romance.

Hannah clearly likes LA, just not in the wild and crazy way her friends do, and I appreciated that the character took a more subtle approach to things. But she eventually agrees to go to one party with her pals after glimpsing herself in the mirror with makeup on and coming this close to singing “I Feel Pretty.” When they get to the party, Hannah’s friends immediately abandon her, and she stands there awkwardly for a while before deciding to catch a cab home. A girl after my own heart. Even more so when she promptly trips over a cord and destroys the DJ’s equipment.

That DJ happens to be a guy named Josh. He’s played by Jesse McCartney, who is indeed still a thing. A thing with the voice of a young Leo DiCaprio. It was like my own personal siren song, and I started to fall for him just almost as fast as Hannah did, despite the fact that his way of charming her involves taking two seconds to remix her favorite piece of classical music on his computer. Of course, I guess it’s not that hard to impress an Amish girl.

After a romantic conversation in front of the fire, Hannah and Josh start to hang out, even though his whole “You deserve to do what makes you happy, Rose DeWitt Bukater!” spiel gets her all defensive. What ensues is a courting period that I found myself smiling at, which I then hated myself for, realizing how quickly this would turn into an angsty “But I love him!” situation.

Hannah initially tells Josh she can’t see him anymore and has to go back to her responsibilities, but one kiss on the beach and that decision goes out the window. She decides to leave Amish life and be with Josh. Cue a basic cable sex scene with awkward closeups of Hannah removing her bra. I knew the pregnancy would come about from this, so I basically spent the whole scene shouting, “Use a condom, dammit! I was rooting for you! We were all rooting for you! I have never in my life yelled at a TV movie character like this!”

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