It’s a movie about KFC.
Lifetime Original movies are verboten here at How About Notflix and mostly because there’s only so many ways one can say that a film’s primary audience is emotionally crippled suburban white women before it starts to get repetitive. Now I love self-referential brand deals as much as any person, but the KFC mini-movie kinda took me by surprise. Maybe it’s because Mario Lopez is the last person I’d expect to play The Colonel next to maybe Werner Herzog or Tommy Chong.
But release it did and it’s definitely out. Mario Lopez plays a distinctly less white Harland Sanders, a chef working on his secret chicken recipe. He is embroiled in a love triangle that lasts all of two minutes when he starts cooking for a rich family and the daughter falls in love with him against her mother’s wishes. There’s drama, kidnapping, chicken, gay romance, and more.
It’s definitely a parody of Lifetime’s own movies that isn’t so much self referential as it is just a drama condensed into roughly the time it would take to finish a KFC meal. Jessica Mancera (Justine Alpert) breaks off with her would-be husband Billy Garibaldi (Chad Doreck) and within two minutes is considering running away with Sanders. Literally.
The film clocks in at 16 minutes and if you rate films based on length that makes it on the same level of cultural relevance as David Lynch’s What Did Jack Do. At least I think that’s how it works.
Unfortunately the KFC mini-movie is a brand tie-in and a Lifetime original at that, which means that this is a family friendly romance. At no point does Mario Lopez refer to his chicken as “finger-banging good” nor does Justine Alpert request that Lopez mash her potatoes and with an extra side of man gravy. There’s no comments about breasts or thighs and Lopez doesn’t proposition putting his greasy bone in anyone’s box. Also nobody gets crippling diarrhea or giardia after eating his food.
We never get the scene where Justine Alpert shows up pregnant and blames it on Lopez’s “secret recipe” and while there is a kissing scene she doesn’t exactly suck the ranch out of his mustache if you catch my drift. Alpert doesn’t say that she needs a $5 fill-up while all Billy Garibaldi can provide is his honey gold chicken little and would it have killed them in 2020 to have one actress refer to another woman as a “Nashville Thot?” Lopez does offer a free cake if she’ll fill out the survey on the receipt, which makes no sense in terms of the film and KFC’s menu item of a chocolate pound cake drizzled in icing called “The Big Finish” would have made for a great innuendo opportunity that the show never makes use of.
Did I write this review just to make these jokes? You bet I did.
The KFC mini-movie is perfectly aware of how ridiculous the concept is and for a brand tie-in the brand is never mentioned. They don’t need to, you all know what it is going in.