The second movie in the Poison Ivy franchise also happens to be the second movie that Alyssa Milano made to try and break the “good girl/child star” image she earned from Who’s The Boss. Now I will admit to watching this years ago (wow, it’s been 20 years) on Showtime and honestly not being really impressed with it, but I was just a stupid teenager back then. And while I can still be stupid at times, I am an adult now so maybe there was something in this movie I just didn’t get during my earlier viewing that will make it more enjoyable. Let’s find out as I watch today’s movie, Poison Ivy II: Lily.
The plot: Lily Leonetti is a shy girl from Michigan that is attending art school in California, though she has missed the first 2 weeks of class due to a family emergency. After attending classes, she heads to the apartment she is staying at, where one of the tenants, Gredin, helps her with her bags, while she meets the other roommates, Tanta, Bridgette, and Robert, inside. The next morning she receives a phone call from her parents, which she ends early to avoid getting in an argument with her mom about her choice to go to California. As she is moving things around in her closet, she finds a box of pictures, clothes, and a diary belonging to a girl named Ivy and she starts to read them. In class, Lily’s teacher, Donald Falk, is trying to get Lily to express herself more in her drawings but Gredin, who is also in the class, ends up embarrassing her and causing Lily to run from the class. Back at the apartment, Lily receives a call from someone hiring her as a babysitter and she tells Tanya, who has become her friend, the news. Gredin shows up to apologize to Lily and takes her out back to show her his sculpture and the two end up talking when Gredin starts kissing Lily and she quickly leaves. As Lily starts reading more and more of Ivy’s journal, she starts imagining herself as Ivy and decides to cut her hair to look more like her. Walking around the campus, she briefly talks with Gredin before heading in an art gallery, where she is approached by Donald. Donald speaks with Lily briefly before introducing Lily to his wife Angela, who had hired Lily as their babysitter. At the Falk’s home, Lily is playing hide and seek with their daughter, Daphna, and notices all the pictures that Angela has taken while Daphna says that her daddy doesn’t paint anymore because it makes him crazy. Donald takes her home and that night, Lily talks with Gredin and the two end up having sex. The next day, Lily goes to Donald’s office to get help with her drawings and comments about his teaching art but not wanting to paint anymore. When Lily proposes to help Donald overcome his fears as a way of helping her overcome her own, Donald agrees and has her pose semi-nude for him. Gredin gets jealous over the amount of time she is spending with Donald but she refuses to stop. When she sees Bridgette acting flirty with Gredin, Lily decides to make some more changes to herself, including getting her belly button pierced and starting to smoke. At a Halloween party in their apartment, Lily dresses up and ends up dancing with a masked man, which she does to try and make Gredin jealous, but when she kisses the guy, it turns out to be Robert, who quickly leaves. Gredin then approaches Lily and as the two dance, they start kissing, unaware of the fact that Donald is outside watching them, having grown obsessed with Lily. Lily and Gredin have sex and Gredin stays the night in Lily’s room but the next day, they get in an argument and he leaves, saying she has changed too much. Meanwhile, Angela shows up at Donald’s office to bring him lunch and notices his portrait of Lily and accuses him of sleeping with her and leaves. When Lily shows up, Donald asks about her an Gredin but when Lily starts to leave, he stops her and begins kissing her. Lilly tries telling him to stop but he leads her to a chaise lounge sofa and begins kissing and attempting to seduce her but when someone rings the doorbell for the office, Lily uses the opportunity to get her clothes back on and leave. Later that night, Gredin gives Lily a lift back to the apartment and she apologizes to him for how she has been acting and the two get back together. Some time later, Lily is invited to dinner at the Falk’s house and brings Gredin with her, which upsets Donald. After dinner, Donald goes to tuck Daphna into bed, and Lily accompanies him at Daphna’s request while Angela and Gredin work on cleaning up the dishes. After tucking in Daphna, Donald grabs Lily and starts to sexually assault her but Daphna and Angela catches him. Daphna runs out of the house and ends up getting hit by a car, and Lily is horrified by what happened and runs back to her apartment. When she gets there, she starts tearing up everything that has to do with Ivy. Gredin shows up and says that Daphna is going to be ok but as he leaves Lily’s room, he is attacked by Donald. Donald enters Lily’s room and says she can’t leave him. Gredin tries to stop Donald but Donald, in his manic state, overpowers him and attempts to stab him with a pair of scissiors but Lily manages to hit Donald with a board, causing him to drop the scissors. Lily runs out of the room and Donald follows after knocking out Gredin and attacking Robert, who informed Donald that he had called the police. On the roof, Donald grabs Lily then starts backing towards the edge but as he slips and falls off, he grabs onto Lily to keep from falling but Gredin pulls her away and Donald falls to his death. A few days later, Lily approaches Gredin and starts explaining what she was going through and is considering going back to Michigan but wanted to say that she loves him. Gredin tells her he loves her too and the two embrace and kiss underneath Gredin’s sculpture.
Poison Ivy II: Lily met with mostly negative reviews from the critics, holding a 17% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, the mojority of the critics felt like this was nothing more than softcore porn cashing in on Alyssa Milano’s name recognition. The director of this movie, Anne Goursaud, also directed Alyssa in Embrace Of The Vampire and worried that this wouldn’t be as daring of a film so they decided to make Johnathon Schaech (Gredin) the main sex symbol. Goursaud admitted that the movie had mostly male fans but did also have it’s share of female fans, which helped it do well in video sales.
Well, nothing much has changed regarding this movie in the years between viewings. I thought it was bad then and I think it is bad now. The acting was pretty stale all around, with Alyssa Milano doing a decent job in her role and showing the various changes she made as her character progressed but everyone else honestly felt completely stale and flat, especially Xander Berkeley, who honestly didn’t seem to change any from his normal self at the start of the movie to the more manic, obsessed self towards the end. The story was completely unoriginal and did absolutely nothing to really draw viewers in except for the possibility of sex. There were several random sub plots that are never explained and just seem to be disregarded at the end of the movie. Honestly not worth watching.
Rating: 1 out of 5