Lifetime’s unauthorized “Brittany Murphy Story” is getting poisoned by critics before it even premieres on Saturday night.
The low-budget biopic of the “Clueless” star’s life has been called a “colossal mess,” atrocious,” and “not even remotely entertaining” by those who sacrificed their free time to watch it, and then spent more time warning the masses to avoid it.
“That truly atrocious interpretation of Alicia Silverstone in ‘Clueless’ is representative of the care, fineness and budgeting that went into the making of ‘The Brittany Murphy Story,’ a movie so underwhelming it makes last year’s Anna Nicole Smith biopic seem like a masterpiece,” Time’s Laura Stampler wrote in her review. “The film was shot in 16 days, and it seems like less time was spent writing the script. ‘The Brittany Murphy Story’ isn’t guilty of smearing the actress’ memory. Its crime is more insidious: It makes the young, talented actress seem entirely forgettable.”
For those who have forgotten, Murphy died in her Los Angeles home on Dec. 20, 2009 at the age of 32. The L.A. county coroner determined her accidental death was caused by community acquired pneumonia complicated by iron deficiency anemia and multiple drug intoxication.
The tragic death of the actress also famous for roles in “8 Mile,” “Just Married” and “Girl, Interrupted” took a scandalous turn last fall when her father, Angelo Bertolotti, released an independent lab report that supported his theory that both she and husband Simon Monjack were likely poisoned.
The Lifetime movie, starring Amanda Fuller as Murphy, apparently only glosses over these suspicions.
“It opens with the press conference following Brittany’s mysterious death in 2009. The official cause of death: pneumonia and anemia. Some suspect poison. Her mom Sharon Murphy (Sherilyn Fenn) and husband Simon Monjack (Eric Peterson) put up a united front. There’s tabloid speculation about drugs. Both deny that. The movie then avoids delving into any of this,” journalist Amy Steele wrote in her review. The controversy surrounding her death needs to be addressed in a movie about her. It’s like making and Amy Winehouse film and avoiding her drug use.”
Flavorwire critic Pilot Viruet contends that the made-for-TV movie is so bad, it does not even qualify for ironic viewing, as so-bad-they’re-good cult classics like “The Room” or “Troll 2” do.
“‘The Brittany Murphy Story’ does not fall into the so-bad-it’s-good camp, because it is not even remotely entertaining. It’s not ironically good, and it’s not worth the energy to hate-watch,” Viruet wrote. “It’s less of a biopic that celebrates Murphy and more of a cheesy mystery thriller, complete with a dramatic distracting score, dramatic camera filters, and dramatic shots of Murphy taking pills (‘Antidepressants?!’ her mother cries in pure horror, as though she’d walked in on Murphy shooting heroin into her eyeballs). The less said about the acting, the better.”