Ah, summertime. The kids are finally out of school and in their summer camp making crafts for the day. Your work here is done, and now it's a moment to relax and have some precious me time. Make yourself some ice tea, put the snacks close at hand, and get ready to enjoy one of life's great guilty pleasures: a full-on, unapologetic chick flick.
Yep, that's right, it's a Lifetime afternoon: Smart female characters, supportive friendships, romantic entanglements, career opportunities, kids that drive you crazy (but you love 'em), suspense, adventure, and maybe some kissing in the rain. Here are five fun Lifetime movies streaming on Netflix right now.
The Spirit of Christmas
Yeah, it's a Christmas movie in summer! Who cares -- it's your day to enjoy yourself. This is a fun treat of a movie that plays like a supernatural romance mixup between "A Christmas Carol" and the old-time Gene Tierney classic "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir." In "The Spirit of Christmas," Kate is a hard-working lawyer who's under pressure to sell a picturesque country inn before the end of the year.
The one thing that's standing in her way is a handsome and charismatic man...from the 1800s. A ghost who can take bodily form only for a short time each year before Christmas, Daniel is a spirit under a curse from which he cannot move on until the mystery surrounding his death is cleared up. Charming and romantic, this movie will twist your heartstrings (in a good way). And if you aren’t convinced that this title may be the right choice for your cozy afternoon, this is the second-best Lifetime movie streaming on Netflix according to Netflixguides.com.
Drop Dead Diva
What happens when a shallow, body-conscious fashion model gets reincarnated as a smart and compassionate plus-size lawyer? "Drop Dead Diva" is a compelling and likable show that plays like a great mashup of "Heaven Can Wait" with "Freaky Friday." Suddenly killed in a car crash on her way to an audition for a TV game show, aspiring model Deb is sent back to earth because she's judged to have been too shallow.
When she's reincarnated as hardworking and brilliant lawyer Jane, Deb finds she has a lot of lessons to learn about accepting yourself and valuing your compassion, intelligence, and hard work over your physical appearance. This is a fun pleasure as a show, especially given the strong supporting cast including comedian Margaret Cho as Jane's assistant at the law firm. Make sure you keep your eyes open for some unexpected guest appearances, including Liza Minelli, Lance Bass, Serena Williams, and even Kim Kardashian.
The Lizzie Borden Chronicles
We've all heard the (really rather odd) childhood rhyme that begins, "Lizzie Borden took an ax..." but we almost never hear of what happened next. In real life, Lizzie was tried for the murders of her father and stepmother but was acquitted. This Lifetime production picks up at that point, exploring what might have happened to Lizzie afterward. The always-intriguing Christina Ricci stars as Lizzie, who's trying to start a new life with her sister Emma, despite financial worries and a reputation that's been destroyed by the crime and trial.
Complications ensue in Lizzie's life when a nosy detective bent on investigating the truth of the crime comes to Fall River asking questions. Although this production is based on real-life events, it's not intended as a historical docudrama, but rather, just fun speculative fiction about a notorious woman of the 19th century. (If you're interested in reading about the real Borden trial, start here.)
The Client List
When Riley's husband abandons her and the children, the only memento he leaves behind is a mountain of debt. Jennifer Love Hewitt plays Riley, a struggling single mom who's forced to make some tough choices. When she's hired as a massage therapist by a salon called The Rub, Riley discovers that the only way to make ends meet is to provide additional "massage services" to select clients.
Riley struggles with herself, but she ultimately puts family over scruples in order to save her house and provide for her kids. In the meantime, Riley struggles to keep her job life a secret separate from her mom life. Strong performances by Jennifer Love Hewitt and the always-powerful Cybill Shepherd as Riley's mother.
Brace for Impact
Kerry Condon stars in this suspenseful mystery movie also known as "Final Destiny." "Brace for Impact" features Sofia Gilchrist, an airplane crash investigator who's suffered some serious professional setbacks. When Sofia's brother is killed in a plane crash that is ruled an accident, Sofia decides to begin investigating the airline crash independently against the orders of her supervisor.
Sofia's investigations pay off when she finds evidence that suggests there was a potential terrorist plot to cause the plane crash, but her efforts to uncover the mystery are frustrated when no one believes her. A gripping film with lots of plot twists and turns.