Jodi Arias Movie Breaks No New Ground, But Still Praised By Critics

Jodi Arias already has a movie about her trial, but critics say Jodi Arias: Dirty Little Secret, is neither dirty nor filled with secrets.

The Lifetime movie, which debuted Saturday at 8 pm EDT, stayed very close to the trial of the woman convicted of stabbing former lover Travis Alexander more than 30 times. Arias first claimed that he was killed by masked intruders, then at trial tried to claim she killed him in self-defense, but the jury didn’t buy it.

The problem with the Jodi Arias movie, notes The Associated Press, is that the trial stretched so long and was so intensely covered by media outlets that there was simply no new ground to cover.

The movie also comes as the trial is not quite finished. Convicted in May, Arias must now wait until July for a retrial of her sentencing, when a jury will determine if she will be put to death.

Despite the fact that most of the ground has already been covered, the movie is actually pretty good, The Associated Press notes. Tania Raymonde aptly portrays the seductive, manipulative nature of Jodi Arias while Jesse Lee Soffer captures the essence of Travis – “glib, blandly wholesome and all too relatable in his mission to have it both ways, relationship-wise: treating Jodi as a red-hot plaything while he nurtures a ‘suitable’ wife-worthy prospect.”

Lifetime has been called opportunistic for the fast turnaround of the movie. The Jodi Arias trial led to record ratings for HLN, and now many believe that Lifetime is trying to cash in

“It’s a sad, tragic, awful story, of course, and viewers might wonder why we need it retold in dramatic form so soon after the real-life case ended with her murder conviction,” notes New York Daily News reviewer David Hinckley.

The Jodi Arias movie is also a bit of a turnaround for Lifetime, which built its reputation on movies showing women terrorized by strong-willed and manipulative men, sort of the opposite of the Arias case.