Katharine Isabelle as ‘Cherise Smithsonian’, Sadie LeBlanc as ‘Stella’, Maggie Lawson as ‘Lacey Smithsonian’, Mary McDonnell as ‘Rose Smithsonian’ and Sarah Edmondson as ‘Brooke’ in “Crimes of Fashion: Hostile Makeover”Have you ever wondered what would happen if a bunch of Bratz dolls came to bubble-headed life, and tried to remake Murder She Wrote? Well, wonder no more!

Hostile Makeover (2009) is a Canadian TV-movie starring Maggie Lawson as ‘Lacey Smithsonian’, a former crime reporter turned fashion columnist (!?), who gets mixed up in a murder case while reporting on a catwalk show hosted by an “ugly duckling” reality-TV-makeover-star-turned-fashion-designer. Phew! I won’t go into any more plot details, because the whole thing is so ridiculously dumb it makes my brain hurt… I mean, if the police had bothered to do a basic background check on all the main suspects, they would have been able to identify the killer about an hour after the actual shooting… but, yeah, whatever! This is supposed to be a “comedy”… but it’s the sort of fluffy, frock-obsessed “girly” humour that you’d expect to find in a third-rate tween flick… and seeing theses supposedly professional women get so easily distracted by fancy dresses (even while breaking into other people’s offices!), or get so giggly over guys (even when they’ve just wiped the still warm blood of a dead woman from their cheeks!), made me slap my forehead and wonder whatever happened to that “feminism” idea we were batting around a couple of years back. Shudder.

Maggie Lawson as ‘Lacey Smithsonian’, Sarah Edmondson as ‘Brooke’ and Sadie LeBlanc as ‘Stella’ in “Crimes of Fashion: Hostile Makeover”I stuck with it to the bitter end though, partly out of morbid curiosity, and partly because of the cast: Sadie LeBlanc plays Lacey’s hairdressing bestie, ‘Stella’ (I’ll admit her hair looks super-cute here), and Sarah Edmondson plays her conspiracy-obsessed lawyer-friend ‘Brooke’… while Lacey’s domineering mother is played by Mary McDonnell, and her younger sister ‘Cherise’ is played by Katharine Isabelle! For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out how old Cherise was supposed to be… I mean, all the female characters behave like high school girls anyway, but Isabelle was in her late twenties at the time, and Lacey keeps treating her like a “kid sister” who needs to be chaperoned at all times! Very strange. Speaking of which, Sarah Strange puts in an appearance as ‘Zoe Manville’, the distraught sister of the victim, and is pretty much the only actress to emerge with a sliver of dignity here.

Note: Apparently this was a sequel to another TV-movie made earlier the same year (titled Killer Hair), and both were based on the “Crimes of Fashion” book series by Ellen Byerrum. Feh.

About Dee CrowSeer

A comic book writer with an interest in feminism, philosophy, and affirmative action. He/him.
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