A Ridiculously In-depth Look at the Heaven Movie No One Asked For . But Here It Is. Blame Lifetime Part 1

The Heaven movie has created controversy in the fandom, since way before it’s premiere on Saturday 27th July 2019.

Personally I am still speechless at this monstrosity of a movie that Lifetime has added to its V C Andrews Hall of Shame. However, I wanted to bring to the fans an in-depth review by someone who had actually read the books.

Whilst any attempt on my part would lead to a Fanny Casteel esque meltdown ( beating the earth and all) thankfully we have a member who is happy to take one for the team and write her own view on the Heaven movie .

This will be a part series as there’s so much to talk about but I’m thrilled to be able to host Rebecca Gustafson s insights into the first of the Casteel Saga movies on Lifetime ….

A Ridiculously In-Depth Analysis of the Heaven Movie that Nobody Asked For. But Here it is. Blame Lifetime.

Part 1

  • And we’re already off to a rough start with the first scene. Heaven reading from a book at lunch? Definitely. But Fanny hanging out with her and getting Heaven’s help with actual homework? That would never happen with the book characters.

  • Creepy random school Dude to Heaven: “When am I going to get a crack at you, Cracker?”
    Wow, Scarlett Lacey, that’s extra bad writing even by your standards.
    Let us never forget Vera in the “My Sweet Audrina” movie purring about how there’s something “deeply erotic about babies” because they suckle at your breasts all day long.

  • Fanny turns down going off to do something against the rules with boys because Heaven disapproves? Book Fanny never let Heaven’s judgement stop her from having fun.

  • Fanny sneaking off to do it anyway? And getting in a parting shot to Heaven about how her own Daddy doesn’t love her? There’s my girl!

  • Fanny would definitely sneak off with boys to do lewd things in the locker room. That’s pretty close to a cloakroom. I doubt she’d get upset by the other guy joining in, though. There are two of them and one of her. What else was she expecting? As Heaven pointed out to the jerk who tried to seduce her by calling her a Cracker, “That’s just bad math.”

  • I can easily picture Heaven referencing literature when she quotes Thomas Harding in the scene where she’s walking home with Fanny, but she’d never use it on Fanny. Fanny would also never affectionately call her “Heav.” Book Fanny pretty much hated everything about Heaven, including her “dumb name”.

  • I liked Movie Tom, even though he didn’t have many scenes. I would have enjoyed seeing more of his relationship with Heaven. Their few scenes in the movie were fairly authentic to their book relationship in spirit. I felt genuinely sad when they had to say goodbye, even if the reason why they had to say goodbye was all wrong.

  • I loved the Heaven/Granny relationship (even if she calls her Gran). The scene where Granny is sitting on the front porch and Heaven comes home after school is genuinely beautiful. Granny tells Heaven to, “Give me your tangles”, which is both a literal and metaphorical request. Literal as Heaven sits cross-legged in front of Granny’s rocking chair and her grandmother undoes the tangles in her hair. Metaphorical because she’s also referring to helping untangle whatever’s on Heaven’s mind. Granny simply says, “Tell me”, and Heaven wonders aloud why the people of the town hate the Casteels so much.

  • This was one of the best moments in the entire movie. It captures the closeness of Heaven’s relationship with her grandmother in a poignant way. In a few simple words and actions we understand this is a sweet ritual Heaven has done with Granny many times before. This was easily something I could picture the characters in the books doing together, too.

  • Heaven later references Granny knowing how to soothe all your tangles in her speech at Granny’s funeral. That genuinely got me in the feels. Do more of that, Scarlett Lacey, and less sexy boob sucking baby speeches.

  • I liked the explanation Granny gives for why everyone in town hates the Casteels so much. The Mayor’s son died at the age of fifteen because he was driving drunk. Grandpa Casteel was the one who sold bootleg liquor to a minor. That is something I could see happening since the Casteels of the books did sell moonshine. In the book they’re considered the “lowest of the low” because all of Luke’s brothers are in jail and they’re dirt poor. Way, way, way more poor than in the movie, but I’ll get into that later.

  • Luke comes home and acknowledges the existence of Keith and Jane who are happy to see him? Unlikely. Fanny giving him a big hug and telling him she missed him actually happens in the book. Heaven standing off to the side unwanted like the literal redheaded stepchild is also accurate.

  • Luke’s brought home groceries that seem to consist entirely of cereal. Yeesh at least Book Luke brought them actual food when he showed up once in a blue moon.

  • Luke bought a special cereal for all of the kids except for Heaven. That’s definitely something Book Luke would do. Heaven is loitering on the porch as the rest of the family helps themselves to their sumptuous feast of sugary breakfast cereals for dinner. Finally, fueled by hunger, anger, or a combination of both, she marches in, sits down and helps herself to some of Fanny’s “Sugar Charms”. Luke demands to know what she’s doing there. Heaven tries to proclaim that she has just as much of a right to be there as anyone else, but Luke drags her outside by the arm.

  • I don’t think Book Luke ever denied her the right to food, but I could see him not wanting her around if he was eating dinner with the family. Not that he usually stuck around long enough to eat many meals with them.

  • Heaven would absolutely sit in Granny’s chair on the porch and cry because of the way Luke treated her. This leads into Granny taking her to show her Angel’s grave. It was on Heaven’s 10th birthday and Wintertime in the books, but otherwise this scene is mostly correct. Except Granny didn’t know Leigh’s last name or else Heaven could have just gone looking for her mother’s family at any time. Like maybe when her father gave her away to a crazy lady who made her clean all day long. Leigh’s father, Cleave, might have even been alive if she’d acted fast enough.

  • The white dress in the suitcase that belonged to Leigh is beautiful and something she would have worn. The Portrait Doll is wrong for so many reasons, book hair colour changes aside. It’s not dressed up like a bride and it has red hair like Movie Heaven.

*Lifetime made the “Heaven” movie a year before they decided to adapt the other books into movies, too, for their 5 week movie extravaganza. I guess they meant to pick a red-haired actress for Leigh when they made the first movie, but they went with a brunette instead. I know you’re not filmmaking geniuses, Lifetime, but that’s what you call a massive continuity error. *

Up Next:

My way too extensive thoughts on the new career of Logan’s father!

The Syphilis Baby is a giant letdown and I never want to hear the word twisted again!

A Very Casteel Family Funeral!

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