“My Sweet Audrina” is V. C. Andrews’ only standalone novel published during the late author’s lifetime, so of course it should get the Lifetime movie treatment. With the success of “Flowers in the Attic,” Andrews fans were eagerly awaiting the next offering, but they may have noticed some plot points that Lifetime thinks can be left out.
In a very simplified version, the TV movie is limited to only a few characters from the 1982 novel. The redacted adaptation is understandable given the dense plot of the book, but the Gothic horror element of the story is also missing.
The new feature pales in comparison to the more thrilling page-turner, to say the least. Even with the childhood rape, and multiple deaths within the story, the film is very campy. For these reasons, Zap2it has compiled the five instances in Lifetime’s “My Sweet Audrina,” where we say, “Surely you can’t be serious.”
1. A childhood friendship-turned-marriage
Sure Audrina (India Eisley) and Arden (William Moseley) make a cute couple, but the two are close friends at best. In fact, Arden is her only friend.
Audrina’s sexual repression becomes a huge factor in their relationship, and for good reason. Regardless of Audrina’s indisputable beauty, it still doesn’t makes sense why their relationship is portrayed to be a love-at-first-sight affair when in reality it lacks intimacy of any kind.
That is until Audrina’s sexual awakening occurs and she finally does the deed — and may add, like a pro.
2. A marital affair with a noticeably evil person
Vera (Tess Atkins) emits evil, but innocent Arden is too dumb or blind to notice. Not to mention, Vera is wobbling around Whitefern with a cast and a crutch. The steamy sexual tension is completely missed before Arden and Vera start their moment of passion and Audrina coincidentally walks in on them.
“My love?” Arden murmurs perfectly in response to getting caught.
3. The constant yet forbidden conversations about the family secret
During an impromptu piano lesson, Adrian’s mother Lucietta (Kirsten Robek) gets weirdly upset with her daughter for asking her a question about her late sister. All the little girl asks her mother is whether or not the first Audrina knew how to play the piano.
Her mother’s quickly responds, “That is not polite conversation.”
Note the family visits the first Audrina’s grave every week and they constantly compare her to her dead sister, so it makes no sense for her parents to get upset when she asks more questions about her departed sibling.
4. The controlling (and borderline abusive) patriarch
Do pre-teens usually shave their dad’s facial hair before bedtime? Because that actually happens in “My Sweet Audrina.” It’s no question that Damian (James Tupper) is protective of his daughter, whom he also loves, but the constant coddling is more uncomfortable to watch than anything.
“Let the sweetness of your namesake fill you,” he whispers in her adolescent ear. A bit on the melodramatic side, but it also makes one want to reach for their phone and call Child Protective Services. Damian’s sweet and tender side juxtaposed with violent behavior also leaves one deeply perplexed throughout the film.
5. Meaningless flashbacks
It is completely unclear what exactly was going on while Audrina was having her episodes. The first one shows the first Audrina running through the woods and it appears that she is being kidnapped by a man in black clothing. Later on we see that there are multiple attackers of the first little Audrina.
Readers are aware that the big secret is a brutal gang rape, which occurs in the tale. Viewers, on the other hand, remain needing more information because the feature never actually speaks the R-word. In case you missed it, the rape scene occurs while young Audrina falls and blacks out in while looking up at the trees.