Villainess Review: Eve Blackwood (My Best Friend the Baby Snatcher)
A woman's miscarriage turns her into a maniacal villainess hellbent on taking her best friend's baby in this 2023 Lifetime film (Words: comb, shell, claw)
I habitually comb my way through a site known as Futon Critic to learn about the next month's batch of Lifetime movies, and among them was this film with quite the delicious title: My Best Friend the Baby Snatcher. Naturally, I was looking forward to this, because those six words clearly tell us that one woman will transform herself into a deliciously insane madwoman. Which one? Let's find out.
So the film introduces us to two women who are actually set to become mothers together: Penelope Fitzgerald and Eve Blackwood, whose friendship is shown to be quite close. After Eve suffers a mishap while showering, we are suddenly sent back eight months to how all of this began. At that time, Eve and Penelope were at a fertility clinic run by Dr. Lynn Jones, and the plan was for Penelope to have a baby, with Eve being the donor. Of course, the women would be on fertility drugs during this whole procedure, while Dr. Jones gave explicit orders for Eve not to engage in any intercourse.
However, Eve breaks that rule just once, and all it took was a heated night with husband Tom Blackwood (played by former WWE wrestler Paul London) to actually become pregnant. So one got past the goalie (and unlike the Florida Panthers, four overtimes weren't needed), and with that, Eve was disqualified from being a donor. As for Penelope, she would have to pay $50,000 for another donor, and thanks to husband Richie Fitzgerald selling his car (named Murphy), they get the money and the donor. I have to mention this, the film is another Lawrence family project, with Matthew Lawrence playing Richie, while younger brother Andrew Lawrence directed. In addition, the good doctor, Lynn Jones? She's played by Donna Lawrence--the mother of Joey, Matthew, and Andrew. Just beautiful.
So Penelope and Eve are enjoying being pregnant together, though Eve confided in Penelope that Tom's original plan was to not have kids, and she wanted to keep her methods a secret from him. Of course, we are brought back to the tragic mishap: Eve suffering a miscarriage, and we see the Fitzgeralds speaking about the loss and their concern for Eve, who--sadly--became a nearly unresponsive shell of the woman we saw earlier in the film. Eve later destroys her plants, and afterwards, Tom enters and mentions that they didn't plan on having children anyway, but his attempts to get through to his wife aren't successful.
Eve later turns on the TV and sees Dr. Jones promoting her clinic, which angered Eve to the point where she tosses the remote at the TV. Oh boy. Richie and Penelope are shown preparing the nursery for their upcoming baby (revealed to be a girl), but later that evening, Dr. Jones is attacked and killed by a hooded figure in her clinic. It's clearly Eve; they portrayed that figure as being "mysterious," but we know full well that we had just witnessed Eve's heel turn and her official descent into madness. The next day sees Eve visit her friends, who are happy to actually see her up and about, with Eve stating that she has a new plan in mind after the miscarriage. I repeat: oh boy.
Tom provides a consolation of sorts for Eve, in the form of information about her birth mother. However, Eve's visit to her mother, Ruth, at a living facility showed that the only reason why Tom never knew about Ruth was because Eve never mentioned her. That's not all that comes out. So Ruth was actually a piece of work, verbally lashing out at her daughter, as she had done her entire life. It was also revealed that Eve had been abused by her father in her childhood, and I have to mention this. So the film began with a young girl watching a house burn down. Turns out, that girl was Eve, as she had burned down the house with her father inside. Ruth revealed she had known the truth but never said anything, and in response, Eve stated that she realized that she never needed her father, and made the same statement about Ruth, who suddenly keeled over and fatally succumbed to a poisoned batch of tea that Eve had concocted.
After destroying the Fitzgeralds' nursery, Eve ended up confronted by Tom, who found a batch of fertility drugs in the house. Her attempt to lie about the drugs leads her to deliver an even bolder lie: she was having an affair with Richie, which resulted in the pregnancy. Eve blamed Tom for the loss of her baby, and continued to belittle her husband before ejecting him out of the house. As a result of Eve's twisted lie, Tom beats up Richie in a drunken rage, but after Tom returns home, Eve cooks up another batch of poisoned tea, with one of her plants as the chemical weapon, and she starts beating herself up and informed Tom that he attacked her in a rage. She served the tainted tea to Tom, and coldly watched as he became her fourth overall murder victim, after which Eve went to the Fitzgeralds and claimed that Tom attacked her.
Richie took Eve back to her house, but that saw Eve knock out and tie up Richie before setting the house on fire and heading back to Penelope. Richie was able to get out and save himself, but by that time, Eve had drugged Penelope and placed a plastic bag over her head to subdue her. Penelope found herself tied up in the nursery, where Eve reveals her true evil plan to take Penelope's baby for herself. The maniacal Eve voiced her intense jealousy of Penelope, claiming that she got everything and was being selfish, and also informing Eve that it was her turn now. The plan was simple: Penelope would be around up until she gives birth, and...well...we know the rest. At that moment, Detective Vargas (who was informed about the earlier vandalism) entered the house after a disoriented Richie informed the police about Eve, but she's quickly (a little too quick for my liking) taken down by Eve, who stabbed Vargas with a pair of scissors.
Prior to the attack (which Vargas survived), Vargas was helping Penelope free herself, and after Penelope breaks free, she is pursued by Eve, who attacks Penelope while wielding the scissors. Penelope manages to knock out Eve right before Richie arrives, with both halves of the couple saving Vargas afterwards. Penelope and Richie welcomed their new baby girl, and as for Eve, we see her sharing a jail cell with a woman who is eight months pregnant, and Eve is beaming!
My Best Friend the Baby Snatcher aired on Lifetime Movie Network on May 18, 2023, and featured Jennifer Taylor as maniacal villainess Eve Blackwood. I'm still amazed by this fact: this film marks Jennifer Taylor's fifth time playing a Lifetime villainess, meaning that if there's a "Five-Timers Club" for Lifetime villainy (similar to SNL regarding hosting duties), she'd be in it. Not only that, she topped her last evil role, Kat Connolly, from 2021's My Husband's Secret Brother, which also involved the Lawrence family. Eve Blackwood was deliciously insane, bloodthirsty, sociopathic, and outright evil. I absolutely loved how Eve's villainous transformation manifested. In the first half, Eve is a very supportive friend to Penelope, and we see them celebrate the fact that they're going to be mothers together, but once the loss happens, Eve goes all in on her increasing insanity, and doesn't even bother to look back, as she attempts to scratch, claw, and kill her way to becoming a mother.
Of course, I can't finish this review without sharing this very awesome capture. Jennifer Taylor has been evil on Lifetime five times, but this go-around was her first time donning the famous "Hoodie of Evil" in one such film. When Eve turned heel and murdered Dr. Jones, she wore this disguise; her face was hidden, but we all knew it was Eve. I'll be honest, I wasn't expecting to see that hooded attire again, but there it was in the climax as Eve attacked Vargas and pursued Penelope. Jennifer Taylor really showed out in this film; she portrayed Eve's friendly nature very well in the first half, while the second half saw Taylor absolutely shine as she acted out Eve's maniacal and unhinged demeanor, especially in the scene where she kills her mother, and the climax. It's not really surprising. Taylor's really good as this whole villainess thing; I knew that years ago. This film only shows why Taylor is immensely in demand on Lifetime, and also why she's amazing at playing evil.
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Check out Eve Blackwood's profile on Villainous Beauties Wiki!