Not a Keeper
Could a woman so desperate to have children murder her best friend in order to become a surrogate mother to her children. That is just one of the two options presented to us in made for TV movie "My Neighbor's Keeper" where Kate starts looking after her neighbour's children after their mother is murdered on Halloween. But whilst that may sound quite interesting "My Neighbor's Keeper" isn't as it is a movie full of issues from shocking acting, through to less than subtle clues this is a thriller which almost has you laughing. Having said that it is by no means an absolutely terrible thriller, in fact some of the ideas are not bad but those ideas are just minor moments in a very routine and faulty thriller.
Kate Powell (Laura Harring - John Q) is desperate for children but unfortunately despite doing everything she can, taking a less stressful job and doing all the test it seems that she and her husband Tim (Ken Tremblett) are not destined to have children. So when her best friend and neighbour Ann Harding (Brenda Campbell) is murdered on Halloween night Kate becomes surrogate mother to her children whilst their father Mike (Linden Ashby - Sub Zero) blames himself for Ann's death as he was always away from home working. But the police are suspicious, partly of Mike but also of Kate who may have been so desperate that she killed to have children.
The first thing which hits you about "My Neighbor's Keeper" is that it feels lifeless. From routine camera work to the actors, all the actors, reciting lines with no real feeling it all feels quite amateur. It also doesn't help that it seems to take an age to get to the actual main story which starts with Kate Powell learning that she can't have children, then we discover their neighbour Mike is living above his means and then we get the murder of Ann.
So we have the set up and in some of the most unsubtle movie making going we get lots of suggestions that maybe Kate was so desperate that she would kill to have children. It is almost embarrassing as we are spoon-fed such titbits as the children look a little like her, that she lies about not being able to have children and then when looking after the children even says they are her own. We also get what is supposed to be scheming as she asks her husband what would need to happen for them to be made legal guardians in case something happened to Mike.
So we have are first suspect but typically we also get a second and that is Mike himself because all Detectives suspect the husband of murdering their wives for the insurance money. Yes it is cliche and the whole of this side of the movie is cliche as things about Mike come out in the open often through Kate having turned Nancy Drew and started snooping about in his private business.
As for the outcome of all this well short and quite dull is the only way to explain what is a very predictable and unimaginative climax. The truth be told and "My Neighbor's Keeper" is really a very unimaginative thriller which wastes what could have been a creepy thriller which suggests that a desperate woman could kill for children.
What this all boils down to is that "My Neighbor's Keeper" has a nice idea for a thriller but the way it comes together from the lifeless camera work, the emotionless acting and the swaying towards cliche makes it at times a little laughable even for a made for TV movie.