Jodi Arias: Dirty Little Secret Review: Where Are the Secrets?

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Jodi Arias: Dirty Little Secret is a Lifetime movie of the first-degree, a true crime story ripped from the headlines and sensationalized for your entertainment.

But is it any good? Therein lies the problem. Dirty Little Secret reveals scant few secrets, and leaves one wondering if the film was released too soon.


Just last month, an Arizona jury found Jodi Arias guilty of killing her former lover, motivational speaker Travis Alexander, in unspeakable fashion.

Arias unpersuasively argued that she killed him in self-defense, when police believed she came at him in a jealous rage, stabbing him 30 times.

Dirty Little Secret was clearly fast-tracked into production, and was filming while Arias was still on trial for the 2008 murder of Alexander this spring.

As such, Lifetime provides us with a straightforward tale of passion gone awry which, while compelling, pales in comparison to the real-life court saga.

For 18 days, Arias took the stand and produced gripping TV with salacious claim after salacious claim, making for America's most talked-about reality show.

Yet her arrest, trial and conviction is crammed into the last 15 minutes of the film and feels secondary to a crime of passion story based on conjecture.

Which isn't to say there aren't still bright spots.

You would never call this kind of thing art, or give it credit for making any profound points, but as a primetime soap goes, it ranks pretty high up there.

Tania Raymonde (Alex from Lost) does a nice job of portraying Jodi's humanity, even as her behavior deteriorates and ultimately turns sociopathic.

By and large, Tania sells us on all of the romance, sex, obsession, betrayal and vengeance one would expect in a made-for TV film of this nature.

She also bears a remarkable likeness to Jodi, which helps.

As for Travis, he's played by Jesse Lee Soffer in a way that surely won't leave the family and friends of the real Alexander sending thank you notes.

He's conflicted by his desire to screw Arias on one hand, and his lack of willingness to commit to a real relationship on the other hand. That's about it.

Even when she becomes increasingly erratic and regresses to the point where he should run away scared, he can't resist the pleasures she provides.

He does not come across as a very deep thinker, and trouble brews when Jodi starts to realize she's playing something of a time-passing role.

She's love struck, but to her, she's a booty call and nothing more. When he makes this abundantly clear at last, Jodi snaps, and the rest is history.

If only we'd gotten to see the best parts unfold.

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