Olivia Newton-John: Hopelessly Devoted to You is a true story Lifetime movie making its debut tonight. TV Crime Sky screened the movie last night, and well….it’s a bit of a tear-jerker. But it brings us all the good memories of Olivia Newton-John, aka “Sandy.” However, if you’re expecting to see a lot of “Danny,” John Travolta’s character from the 1978 movie Grease, you’ll be disappointed. Olivia Newton-John: Hopelessly Devoted to You is based on her true story and her journey from Australia’s small-town girl to America’s wholesome sweetheart.
The beginning of Lifetime’s Olivia Newton-John: Hopelessly Devoted to You Lifetime movie takes us through the steamy re-creation of Grease’s Tell Me About It, Stud scene, where we witness the electrifying magic between “Danny” and “Sandy.” And it comes with shots of “Sandy’s” sexy red sandals, red painted toenails, and glossy red lips as the song “You’re the One That I Want” plays in the background.
Then the movie rolls back to Olivia Newton-John’s younger years at University High School in 1965. It is there that she develops her talent for singing and dancing. Though her mum believes singing is “only an interlude to something else.”
From there, Livi—as she is affectionately called in the Olivia Newton-John: Hopelessly Devoted to You Lifetime movie—takes off to London, where she is uncomfortably sandwiched between the real world and the entertainment world. We get to see the hard work Olivia Newton-John puts in to become the polished singer she is today. Though at times, the reviews were less than flattering early in her career, and she learns that the music business is a brutal one, where she is up against fierce competition.
Here’s the good part. Lifetime fans will swoon listening to some of Olivia Newton-John’s greatest songs, such as “Hopelessly Devoted to You,” “If Not For You,” “Xanadu,” “Let’s Get Physical,” and “I Honestly Love You.” It’s especially pleasing to see the dynamic between Olivia Newton-John and her mother, who seems snappy and strict at times. But tender, understanding, and loving at others.
Determined to be famous, the singer pushes forward and forms a small band called Pat and Olivia. Olivia Newton-John: Hopelessly Devoted to You’s Lifetime film moves from the 1960s to present times. It’s a fast-paced retelling of her life’s sorrows, due to death and cancer, and her short-lived romances, strained by fame. An encounter with a twisted and obsessed stalker, and the disappearance of her boyfriend, Patrick Kim McDermott, are also portrayed near the end of the Lifetime television film.
Through it all, we come away with an intimate portrait Olivia Newton-John’s strength and bravery better than before. Delta Goodrem, the actress that plays her, is exceptional and looks enough like the crossover-artist to be believable.
The bottom line? We think you’ll like it, Folks! The world premiere of Olivia Newton-John: Hopelessly Devoted to You airs tonight at 8/7c on the Lifetime Network.
True Story Tidbits
Olivia Newton-John had two stalkers. Ralph Nau was a celebrity stalker, who went to Australia to track her down. He also stalked Cher and murdered a family member. He is currently in an institution. But the one depicted in Lifetime’s true story movie was based on Michael Owen Perry, a crazed fan who slaughtered five people, is currently on death row, according to Who.
Now, here’s something about Oliva’s boyfriend, Patrick McDermott, a Korean-American, who disappeared in 2005 during a fishing trip. Rumors ran rampant. Was he murdered? Did he drown? Did Olivia Newton-John know more than she was telling?
For a long time, it was alleged he faked his death to avoid paying financial debts and was still alive. Investigators have confirmed that the man is alive and was found living with a new girlfriend in a small town in Mexico and that Olivia Newton-John and the man’s ex-wife, Yvette Nipar, were innocent victims duped by the scandal.
The last we heard, Patrick McDermott doesn’t want to be bothered. Period. His ex-wife never wanted to believe he faked his disappearance.
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[Photo by Kelly Gardner/Lifetime Television/Used with Permissions]