Kate Powell (Laura Harring - The Punisher) is desperate for children but despite doing everything she can, taking a less stressful job and doing all the tests, it seems that she and her husband, Tim (Ken Tremblett - Last Chance Cafe), are not destined to have children. So when her best friend and neighbor, Ann Harding (Brenda Campbell), is murdered on Halloween night Kate becomes a surrogate mother to her children whilst their father, Mike (Linden Ashby - Mortal Kombat), blames himself for his wife's death as he was always away from home working. But the police are suspicious, partly of Mike but also of Kate as they wonder whether she may have been so desperate that she murdered her neighbor to become mum to her children.
Could a woman be so desperate to become a mother that she would 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 the made for TV movie "My Neighbor's Keeper" and it is an idea with potential. But whilst there is potential "My Neighbor's Keeper" is sadly a movie full of issues from shocking acting through to less than subtle clues making this is a thriller which almost has you laughing. Having said that it is by no means utterly terrible, in fact some of the ideas are not bad but those ideas are just minor moments in what ends up a routine and faulty thriller.
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 their lines with no real emotion it all feels a bit too factory line. It also doesn't help that it seems to take forever to get to the real story which starts with Kate 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 murder 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 accidentally happened to Mike.
So we have Kate as the first suspect but typically we also get a second and that is Mike himself because the police always suspect the husband of murdering their wives for the insurance money. Yes it is cliche and the whole of this side of "My Neighbor's Keeper" 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 how "My Neighbor's Keeper" ends, well short and quite dull is the only way to explain what is a very predictable and unimaginative ending.
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.