Thursday, January 14, 2016

She Made Them Do It – Kind of a Screwy Story

Runtime: 90 minutes
Release Date: February 28, 2013
Rating: NR
Director: Grant Harvey

Sarah is a Purdue University student living in a house with her boyfriend, his friend, and the friend's girlfriend. As the movie begins, she's far from perfect. Not only does she use a lot of cocaine, but she's apparently been selling it with her boyfriend's help on campus. The money she makes goes straight into a box that she plans to take back with her to college. That's the plan until she checks it and finds it empty. Turns out that her male roommate took the money to pay for more drugs.

She Made Them Do It lets us believe that her boyfriend killed the two and that she helped him get rid of the bodies before going on the run. It doesn't take long before they both get caught and wind up in jail. Sarah meets a woman named Jamie who believes in her innocence and promises to help her, but she gets convicted off little evidence and gets 110 years in prison. While things don't necessarily go well for her, she does manage to make some new friends and even learn in the prison library.

When Sarah learns that a corrupt prison guard can help her get comforts of home in exchange for sex, she starts a relationship with him. That relationship ends with him working with Jamie to help her smuggle drugs into prison and later help her escape. She goes on the run with help from some of her former prison pals as a US Marshall follows on her tail.

Here's the thing, I lived in Indiana where this film is set and where the true story happened, and I literally never heard a single thing about it. The film does a good job of telling the story in such a way that you aren't really sure who to believe or know what really happened. While the director portrays Sarah as a sweet and wholesome college student, he also introduces evidence that shows her as anything but wholesome. She apparently threatened a woman who got in her way, might have encouraged her boyfriend to kill their friends before using the gun on them herself, and probably manipulated a lot of people to do everything she wanted them to do.

The problem is that I later went and read more about the actual case and doubt a lot of what the film presents. There is actually very little evidence that she did or had any part in the murders. The police had no evidence except for a letter she supposedly wrote to her boyfriend where she confessed to being there and taking part in the murders. He later said she never wrote it, and one of his cellmates stated multiple times that he forged the letter. There is also a jail house snitch who says she confessed to him, but he actually came forward with similar stories regarding other people.

As a Lifetime movie, She Made Them Do It is a lot better than some of the films I saw on the network over the years. Jenna Dewan Tatum is absolutely amazing and does a good job of making you wonder if she's innocent or guilty. I also have no clue why more people don't crush on her. As a straight women, I'd pick her over her husband any day. While it was an interesting movie, I highly encourage anyone who watches it to go back and read more about the real case after finishing it.

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