Lifetime brings us another based-on-a-true-story crime movie, She Made Them Do It, tonight at 8 pm. She Made Them Do It tells the story of Sarah Pender, a convicted double murderer who, having lost all of her appeal options, finds another way to get out of prison if only for a little while. Jenna Dewan-Tatum (yes, married to Channing Tatum) stars as Sarah Pender who, if the story is true, is probably one of the best manipulators and masterminds of recent times. The movie mentions comparisons to Manson. Although I am not sure to what extent that is true, if even half of what is portrayed in this movie is true, Sarah Pender is probably right on his heels.
After enrolling in college and finding a means to pay her way by selling drugs to fraternities, Sarah Pender’s life is derailed when her two temporary roommates are found shot dead and left in a dumpster. Despite her pleas of innocence, Sarah is convicted for each murder to be served consecutively, totaling 110 years in prison. Much of the movie takes place after this time and shows Sarah establishing relationships and planning her life and escape long before she even knew how it would occur.
Jenna Dewan-Tatum was captivating as Sarah Pender. I found myself transfixed to the screen watching her interactions and her ideas unfold. Sadly, even though I could tell she was not sincere, she was still likeable. Although that may not say much about my judgment of people, I think it is a testament to the actress’ ability. If Sarah Pender is really that charismatic, and she must be to have accomplished a prison break out and number one fugitive status for some time, I can see how it was done.
She Made Them Do It is a well written true crime story. The pace is even and holds the viewer’s interest. Aside from Jenna Dewan-Tatum, other characters are equally compelling such as Laurie Mackenzie Phillips as Jamie Long and April Telek as Mimi. This is definitely a movie I would watch again and it has even inspired me to read up on the real Sarah Pender.
Tune into the world premiere of She Made Them Do It tonight, December 29, at 8 pm ET on Lifetime and then come back here and tell me what you thought.