'A Deadly Adoption': How to See It As Both a Drama and a Dramedy

PHOTO: Kristen Wiig and Will Ferrell in a scene from the Lifetime movie, "A Deadly Adoption."Lifetime/YouTube
Kristen Wiig and Will Ferrell in a scene from the Lifetime movie, "A Deadly Adoption."

When it was announced that Will Ferrell and Kristin Wiig were teaming up for a Lifetime film, people were confused.

What would a made-for-TV movie starring two of the funniest comedians in showbiz look like? And how could it not be funny?

Now that the second, more serious trailer has hit the Internet, the mystery has only deepened.

At first glance, "A Deadly Adoption" appears to be a straightforward drama about a couple (Ferrell and Wiig) hoping to adopt a baby from an expectant young woman, played by Jessica Lowndes. She moves in with them and their daughter, only to seemingly become obsessed with Ferrell's character and, at one point, aims a gun at him.

Yes, it looks intense. But just knowing that the two stars are who they are, it's impossible to think that there won't be comedic moments too.

Here's how to view the trailer from two perspectives.

It's a drama, plain and simple: This film, about a couple (Ferrell and Wiig) who hopes to adopt the unborn child of a pregnant young woman (Jessica Lowndes) has all the makings of every other Lifetime made-for-TV movie, including an unrequited love story that seems to end, if the title has any meaning anyway, in murder! Though Ferrell's attraction to Lowndes is teased early on, it seems that she's the one obsessed. (Why else would she tear a magazine cover featuring Wiig and Ferrell in half and then watch their child sleep?) "Robert doesn't love you. He told me so," Lowndes hisses over the most dramatic music of all time. "He loves me!" It all unravels pretty quickly: Wiig screams at Ferrell that everything is his fault, their tearful daughter announces that she's scared, and it all ends with Lowndes, with very, very thick eyeliner masking her crazy eyes, aiming a gun at Ferrell. How is this not a drama?

It's a dramedy: A lot of the dramatic effect in this trailer seems to come from the music, so to look at it from a lighter point of view, I blasted "Walking on Sunshine" over it. In that context, "A Deadly Adoption" almost looks like a dramedy about a couple -- Ferrell and Wiig -- who take in a pregnant young woman (Lowndes) whose baby they hope to adopt. Their daughter (who's probably a little quirky, right?) takes a liking to Lowndes and then of course Wiig and Ferrell embrace, because how could this arrangement ever turn sour? But, lo and behold, it does! After Lowndes finds a copy of U.S. Finance Monthly magazine featuring an at home story of Ferrell ("America's new financial guru!"), things take a more serious turn, as she tears it in half, allowing Wiig's picture to fall to the floor. And while the next few parts seem undeniably dark (why is Ferrell running in the rain and who is the man with the knuckle tattoos who angrily grips the quirky daughter's bike?) what comedy doesn't have dramatic moments? Can I explain away the whole pointing-the-gun-at-Ferrell at the end? No. But he'll be OK. After all, he's Will Ferrell.

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