TV REVIEW : ‘Amy Fisher’: An Industry Is Born
Coming tonight, Amy Fisher I. Coming next week, II and III.
Fisher, the teen-ager now imprisoned for shooting a woman whose husband she contended was her lover, has her say in the NBC movie “Amy Fisher: My Story,” airing at 9 p.m. on Channels 4, 36 and 39. It’s an entertainment movie that NBC News has hyped on “Today,” and in last week’s “Dateline,” Fisher herself was interviewed.
Her story is not Joey Buttafuoco’s story. Buttafuoco is the auto body shop operator Fisher claims to have been sleeping with and whose wife, Mary Jo, she shot in the head last May on the front porch of the Buttafuoco home.
His diametrically opposed version of events leading to the shooting will be told Sunday in the CBS movie “Casualties of Love: The Long Island Lolita.” That same evening, ABC airs its own account of the case, “The Amy Fisher Story.”
Tonight’s “My Story” was made with the cooperation of Fisher, who was paid $60,000 toward her earlier bail for exclusive rights to her story, and the movie carries disclaimers noting that this is Fisher’s “version of the truth” and that Buttafuoco denies having had a sexual relationship with her or advance knowledge of the crime.
Whatever the case, this is a real drag of a movie, wasting Noelle Parker’s convincing portrayal of Fisher as a tough, rebellious, wild 17-year-old who was nevertheless vulnerable enough to be exploited and manipulated by the 37-year-old Buttafuoco (Ed Marinaro). This Joey is a smooth operator who seduces and has a torrid, destructive affair with Fisher. He summons her by beeper and even encourages her to become a hooker.
And this Fisher informs Joey of her plans to arrange a “hit” on Mary Jo. When the paid “hit” falls through, she goes to the Buttafuoco home and inadvertently shoots Mary Jo herself while pistol whipping her. In contrast, the CBS account shows Fisher intentionally shooting Mary Jo, who survived, but has a permanent disability. The bullet from Fisher’s gun remains lodged in her head.
More than anything, Amy Fisher is an essentially uninteresting teen and “My Story” a movie that provides no insights while tending to merge in your mind with TV’s infinite other docudramas about sensational crimes. Just why this case merits being on TV in triplicate is a much bigger mystery than why Fisher pulled the trigger in the first place.
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