The Holy Trinity of Amy Fisher Made-for-TV-Movies
by Marie Lodi
When I rest my head at the end of a long day, I sometimes think about random bits of television from my childhood. For instance, the extraterrestrials of Alien Nation who got drunk off of sour milk, the Cosby Show episode where the men dreamed they gave birth to submarine sandwiches and liters of soda, and, most frequently, the fact that all three made-for-TV movies about that Long Island hoodrat Amy Fisher aired on the same fateful night in 1993.
In case some of you aren’t familiar, Amy Fisher was the teen who allegedly had an affair with her family’s mechanic, Joey Buttafuoco. Ahhh that name, it shall never get old. She ended up confronting his wife, Mary Jo, and shooting her in the head, paralyzing one side of her face. Both Amy and Joey ended up serving time, and Amy’s now a porn star! So now you can understand why I was angry at TV Guide (my No. 1 literary companion in those days) for bringing me this tragic news. How dare they make me choose which to watch during a time when TiVo was just a glimmer in someone’s eye! How could have any of us then fairly judge who played the best Amy in all of her Buttafouco-boning glory?! Drew Barrymore was an obvious first choice since she was fresh off her bad-girl role in Poison Ivy, but what about Alyssa “Who’s the Boss?” Milano? Did she capture the skanky essence of Amy Fisher? And the lesser known Noelle Parker needed some love too! Didn’t all of these sistas deserve a chance to be reviewed and skewed by me in my scandal-loving, National Enquirer-reading youth?
I know I’m not the only one who faced this conundrum, so lucky for you, I decided to find out which movie featured the best portrayal of our Long Island Lolita … 18 years later. And you guys, it was no easy feat. Cracked DVDs, a hard-to-find VHS, even the old bait-and-switch with a real Amy Fisher interview tried getting in my way! But I survived and so will you. Here is your guide to the Holy Trinity of Amy Fisher made-for-TV movies.
The Amy Fisher Story, starring Drew Barrymore
Sad to say, watching this one again almost two decades later was kind of disappointing! Even though Drew had the best “teenage slut era” in all of Hollywood, the movie was a little zzzz — perhaps because it was told through other people’s points of view, and doesn’t include any of the actual parties involved. Very important: This one had a steamy sex scene that was too hot for TV but is now available on YouTube. Unfortunately the fashion was more frumpy than hoochie, but props to Drew’s chola eyebrows and brown lipliner. In conclusion: Since we all love ’90s Drew, you should watch it anyway.
Casualties of Love: The “Long Island Lolita” Story, starring Alyssa Milano
This one was told through the Buttafuocos’ P.O.V. so Amy was portrayed as extremely cray with a big side of delusion. Although Alyssa looks nothing like the real Amy and basically gum-chewed her way through the role, she did have the best outfits. Cropped tops, double belts, thigh high boots, camel toe … if you’re going to make a movie about a teen temptress, this is how you have her dress. A great line uttered by Amy’s dad: “Amy, you said Joey gave you THE HERPES!” Amy: “I thought it would be OK if Joey was the one who gave it to me because you think so highly of him!” ::cries:: There is also a great scene in the beginning of a bearded Joey “being wild” and doing coke while driving. What I really like is even though this was Mary Jo and Joey’s version, it’s the most cartoonish of the three. In conclusion: This is the “worst” one, so that makes it the best. But you’re going to have to borrow my VHS or watch it in pieces on YouTube because it’s not available on DVD.
Lethal Lolita — Amy Fisher: My Story, starring Noelle Parker
And now we come to Amy’s version of what happened. She’s portrayed as a level-headed teen seduced by a married man who made promises he didn’t intend to keep. WELL THEN. IT’S ALL GOOD, AMY. I do think Noelle Parker did a good job as Amy, though, and seemed the most “real.” Please note that in this version, she has a pink streak in her hair. Was this true? Did Manic Panic play a part in this scandalous affair? And, if so, why didn’t the media let us know? These kinds of things are important when telling the tale of any teen, so thank you, Amy. In conclusion: definitely worth a viewing.
And in conclusion to all these conclusions … you should probably just WATCH THEM ALL! And then let’s read this for our book club, but really for the cover alone: