When Friendship Kills (1996) Lynda Carter, Katie Wright, Marley Shelton, Ryan Reynolds, Lochlyn Munro Movie Review

When Friendship Kills (1996)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Katie Wright and Marley Shelton in When Friendship Kills (1996)

Dealing With a Disorder

When her parents got divorced Lexi (Katie Wright) along with her sister relocated with their mum Kathryn (Lynda Carter) who now being a single mum with an important job is always working. Fortunately for Lexi she becomes close friends with Jennifer (Marley Shelton) who get it in to their heads that they need to get in to shape and lose weight but to do so they start throwing up what ever they eat which isn't much as they also starve themselves. When Kathryn realises something is wrong with Lexi she takes her to get professional help which leads to Kathryn speaking to Jennifer's mum over concerns that Jennifer also has an eating disorder. It leads to tensions between the friends which come to a head at a beach party when Jennifer is drunk and they end up having a row with events leading to Lexi relapsing and going back to her secret eating ways.

Go with me for a second because I am going to give you a list of specifics which "When Friendship Kills" covers. The first thing is that following her parents divorce Lexi is struggling, blaming herself looking for answers. There is a comment passed by the volleyball coach about if Lexi lost a couple of pounds she could jump higher, her father makes the comment that she looks good having lost the puppy fat. Her dreams of her parents getting back together are broken, her sister makes a comment she is always dieting, a boy notices her, Lexi is weighing herself all the time and directly after exercise, she flushes food down the toilets, binge eats at night, her hair starts to fall out, her periods become irregular, she coughs up blood, she has a short fuse.

Lynda Carter and Katie Wright in When Friendship Kills (1996)

I could continue because "When Friendship Kills" mentions a lot of different things associated with eating disorders along with insecurity and a whole lot more. And because it manages to cover so many different elements I have to praise it as maybe anyone dealing with an eating disorder or are dealing with someone they think may have an eating disorder or who refuse to admit a love one has an issue will see something in this and make them aware of things.

But "When Friendship Kills" in trying to appeal to a teen audience has tried to go down the "Clueless" route when it comes to Lexi and Jennifer with them ending up not coming across as believable teenagers. For example there is a scene where they go shopping together and so we get a clothes dressing up montage to music. It is a shame as "When Friendship Kills" covers so many good points such as how an anorexic sees themselves in a mirror and how difficult it is to get over the fear eating to the point of starvation. In truth maybe it covers a few too many points as it gets to the point where it becomes almost like a list of things rather than a movie especially when a character starts to quote statistics.

What this all boils down to is that "When Friendship Kills" does get across a lot of points when it comes to eating disorders but in trying to manipulate all this into a drama it often goes wrong by trying to be too entertaining for a teen audience with gimmicks which don't belong in this sort of movie.