In an earlier review, I proclaimed that the 2011 film We Bought a Zoo was the most hirsute film since the hairy 1995 classic Braveheart. But sorry, Matt Damon and company, Drew Peterson: Untouchable just beat you out for the shaggiest film of the last 10 years.
Everyone here, from Drew Peterson (played by a capable Rob Lowe) to the minister that marries Drew and Stacy Peterson (Kaley Cuoco), sports a lip full of fur. I even saw some fuzz above the mouth of the Petersons’ female next-door neighbor (who is never mentioned by name here).
But the mustaches add to the realism. Look around, Will County: From Westfield Louis Joliet Mall to Pilcher Park and every empty barber shop in between, we’re the mustache capital of the free world and this made-for-TV movie confirms it.
In all seriousness, there’s nothing funny about double possible homicide, and this film confirms that. Looking back now, the real-life TV excerpts even look downright tasteless, with a Today Show anchor calling prime suspect Peterson a “Romeo who is extremely unlucky with women” at one point. Romeo? Sorry, even William Shakespeare couldn’t concoct a plotline as bizarre as this.
The film is based on Shorewood Patch editor Joe Hosey’s book Fatal Vows: The Tragic Wives of Sergeant Drew Peterson, and Joe is portrayed as a crafty print reporter penetrating Drew Peterson’s inner circle, leaving the blow-dried TV reporters befuddled and clueless.
The newsroom of the Joliet Herald-News is completely glamorized here, with flat-screen TVs and colorful maps of Illinois adorning the walls. The filmmakers failed to capture the dirty coffee mugs, stained carpeting, crusty editors and bad lighting that characterized the old McDonough Street office.
The plot of the movie remains true to the real-life saga, which is a relief. After all, you can’t get much weirder than what we can only imagine really happened to Drew’s third and fourth wives.
Rob Lowe really did his homework on the South Suburban accent here. Lowe nails the flat nasally voice that we’re all familiar with. I can easily imagine him perfectly ordering up a poor boy at Merichka’s.
One minor complaint about the overall film: Where was Will County State’s Attorney Jim Glasgow? With his neatly trimmed ‘stache and muscle Ts, he would have been an easy cast fit here.
“Drew Peterson: Untouchable” airs on the Lifetime network on Saturday, January 21 at 7 p.m.