We Watched the ‘Conrad & Michelle’ Lifetime Movie and Have Some Thoughts
The Lifetime movie detailing the story of Michelle Carter and the late Conrad Roy III premieres on September 23.
"Based on real-life events, court testimonies and authentic texts, Conrad & Michelle: If Words Could Kill, follows the turbulent tragic teen romance of Michelle Carter (Bella Thorne) and Conrad Roy (Austin P. Mckenzie) that shocked the nation." -- Lifetime
Because this story (and now movie) hits so close to home here on the SouthCoast, we reached out to the production company to see if there were any clips or trailers we could see before Conrad & Michelle: If Words Could Kill debuts on TV. We were able to get a screener of the film, and while we are under strict instructions not to share any clips of it, we did have some thoughts after watching it:
- First and foremost, it is definitely not filmed locally. Although one of the opening scenes meant to look like the KMart parking lot does look eerily similar to the real-life parking lot where Conrad was found after committing suicide.
- The movie depicts both Carter and Roy as having tried to commit suicide multiple times before Roy's death and both struggling with mental illness.
- Carter is portrayed as sympathetic and concerned about Roy's depression and desire to harm himself in the first part of the movie. Then there is an abrupt switch to something much more sinister.
- It seems like the filmmakers did take all of the texts and court transcripts and stuck to them pretty accurately. However, there is certainly a very heavy "Lifetime" twist and overture to the entire movie.
- We get it, it takes place in Massachusetts. We don't need to see the Red Sox logo in every shot, or have the meet-cute moment where Carter and Roy bond on a Florida beach over the collapse of the 2011 Sox season. Still, at least there are no annoying attempts at "Bah-ston" accents.
We know the Conrad Roy tragedy and Michelle Carter's trial story shook the SouthCoast and made national headlines. We've spoken to Conrad's family here at the station since his passing. Personally, if I were in Conrad's family or someone who cared for him, I don't think this movie does him much justice. They depict him as a stoner who played with Carter's emotions, which I can't bring myself to agree with. Carter is portrayed towards the second half of the movie as most people view her: manipulative, self-serving, conniving and ultimately, at minimum, partially responsible for Roy's death.
There's also what seems to be a gratuitous scene of Roy following his suicide that will certainly unnerve any of his friends or family who watch the film, if they choose to do so. So please be advised of that if this story hits a little too close to home for you.
Keep in mind that Michelle Carter cannot profit off of any book deal, movie, or any other publication that may stem from her trial or story. So she will not be making any monetary gain from this Lifetime movie. Carter is currently in the appeals process in an attempt to overturn her 2017 manslaughter charge.
It's hard to turn texts and transcripts devoid of tone and turn them into actual conversations, and it's got to be even harder for the actors to put themselves into the minds of Carter and Roy. The writers, actors and director had to try to make sense of something that is just a senseless tragedy. But if there is some good to come of it, Lifetime is running a campaign during the film for suicide awareness.
Watch the movie for yourself when it premieres on Lifetime on September 23, and make up your own mind about the way Carter and Roy are portrayed. Then you can let us know what you think on our Fun 107 Facebook page.