Soccer Mom Madam Review: Jana Kramer Shines as Sexy Mogul!

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You'll never argue that moms won't do whatever it takes to care for their kids.

And as we saw on Soccer Mom Madam, that includes running a multi-million dollar exclusive escort service.

Jana Kramer killed it in this fictionalized version of the real-life Anna Gristina's story.

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To this day, Gristina is considered the most successful madam in U.S. history, someone who flew under the radar for 15 years and would have continued doing so if not for a moment of arrogance caught on a wiretap.

The film didn't delve deep into that portion of matters; instead, what used to be a trusted companion, Arthur, was responsible for setting Anna up.

But you could understand how everything got out of hand. Anna loved the life that her exclusive business provided for her, and even her attempts to go legit felt half-hearted.

Her escort business gave her everything that she could possibly want and need. She was wealthy, and as someone who grew up with a troubled background and knew what it meant to go without, that mattered to her.

Madam - Soccer Mom Madam

She didn't seem like she was trying to floss for image purposes, but Anna liked to live her best life and give her kids things that she never would've been able to before.

When you've been flying that high, it's hard to come back down from it.

It spoke volumes that she struggled so hard to find a legit new career path to pursue to keep the promise she made to Mia.

Anna had a mind for business and abilities that could've translated to anything, and by then, she had the money and means to shift to several careers, but being a madam is what she felt she did best.

Anna's choosing to go into commercial real estate even felt empty. And that was largely inspired by her relationship with Owen.

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And the second the housing market crashed because of the 2008 recession, she was back to what she did and knew best, selling girls, an experience, happiness, however you'd like to refer to it.

But say what you will about Anna, she really was damn good.

Her hubris got in the way, and like Letty implied, her downfall was inevitable because, like Icarus, Anna flew too close to the sun.

After her terrible relationship, she jumped into working with Letty as a receptionist at the massage parlor, but she became so much more in no time at all.

What separated Anna from others in the business is also what often gives madams an edge over pimps.

She knew that the girls and what they had to offer were commodities, and she treated them well.

The girls had agency. She considered herself working for them. The women negotiated their salaries, and she took a cut of their earnings, but the girls always had control and someone who genuinely seemed to look out for their best interest.

She considered her girls her family.

Even under Letty, Anna was the one who looked out for the girls. She got to know everything about them, doted on and cared for them, and she valued them.

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It was a natural progression that when Letty got out of the business, aware that the law was onto her, anyone still around would work with Anna.

It did seem as though Letty was too cautious and not thinking about the best way to maximize their profit.

Anna's ideas were logical measures to take for the business, especially when she proposed they open on Sundays. And she had a point about making things exclusive.

It saved them from allowing just anyone into the parlor for services. It was for their protection and everyone else's. It isn't as if they could call the cops when something went awry, like with Tina's husband.

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Anna had savvy ideas, and she managed to build her own lucrative business off of them.

Exclusivity does elevate the business. It breeds control and brings in more money.

Anna's rules were sensible. Drinking and drugs make things messy, unpredictable, and unsafe for the clients, girls, and the business.

No spouses cut back on risky situations where jealous lovers were willing to blow everything up over their domestic disputes.

And Anna didn't try to control every aspect of the girls' lives and keep them from following their dreams. Tina, presumably, got out to run the business she started in Miami.

Anna's girls - Soccer Mom Madam

Vicky paid her way through college and grad school with the job, and had she not betrayed Anna, she could've gone and did whatever she pleased, and Anna would've been proud of her.

Big Lola, who was a total scene-stealer, was working on starting a dungeon sex club of her own. Anna in no way felt threatened by any of this.

Vicky's betrayal sucked. Under any other circumstances, one could sympathize with her, but Vicky was Anna's top girl for so long, and Anna really did look after all the women who worked for her.

Vicky let her jealousy of Cassidy cloud her judgment. It's like she thought Cassidy was replacing her as Anna's prized girl, and she couldn't handle that. Stealing clients from underneath Anna was tacky, but it also spoke to how good she had it with Anna that Vicky thought she'd get away with it with no repercussions.

Vicky could've quit instead of sticking around. But she had no idea that Anna would confront her and then send her packing, kicking her out of the state.

It was shocking that Vicky attempted to ruin Anna again before going underground. What was the reason? Why couldn't she let bygones be bygones?

If Anna failed anywhere with the girls, it was her blatant favoritism. Even though she took care of all of them well, her favorites were apparent.

Everyone could tell that Vicky was Anna's favorite, and Vicky took it personally every time a new girl showed up as if it meant she wasn't enough.

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Not catching the jealousy early or nipping it in the bud could've cost Anna.

And like Vicky, Cassidy was Anna's favorite, too. Anna admitted that the fresh-faced former waitress reminded her of herself.

Even so, and we have no idea what the timeline was like, but still, any of Anna's original girls could've felt some kind of way about her leaving the business to the new girl.

Cassidy, as far as we know, was still wet behind the ears. She barely earned her bones (pardon the unintentional pun).

It did Anna a fat lot of good when Cassidy, among many others, didn't show up for her when it mattered most.

But that's where Anna was so focused that she failed to notice the feelings of everyone else around her.

Anna didn't notice Vicky's jealousy. She brushed off Letty's concerns, and Anna didn't consider Mia's feelings at all.

Arthur's betrayal blindsided Anna. It shouldn't have been; it was obvious that he behaved squirrely and wanted to tell her something.

Arthur gave the impression he wanted to warn her about the Feds. He was so close to Anna, and her family was his.

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Anna kept pushing for more, bigger, and better, and even though Arthur did what he could to cover their tracks, you sensed it was catching up to him.

He seemed proud of her for going legit, but it's still mindboggling that he knew that's what she was trying to do when he was speaking to the authorities.

Arthur setting her up was unfortunate, and it was insane that the government kidnapped her to interrogate her.

It's no wonder the case worked out the way it did with some of those decisions. All they wanted from Anna was her black book, and she wouldn't turn on anyone else.

Anna and Art - Soccer Mom Madam

Anna sat in jail for months rather than share. In the end, they couldn't get her on much of anything.

It was a hell of a ride to the top, but it was a reality check when she hit rock bottom. Out of everything that happened, it was her strained relationship with Mia that upset her most.

Everything Anna did was for her children.

Unfortunately, to Mia, her mother got a high off of her illicit activities, and it made her an absent mother, too work-oriented, and a liar.

It felt like the movie jumped around a lot, and many loose ends were dangling.

Whatever happened to Arthur after he signed his deal with the Feds? It seemed odd that he went from this important figure to someone who betrayed them and vanished.

It would've been nice if we had a confrontation, or he gave his explanation for his actions.

It pained him to betray his friend, but we didn't get his perspective in the least.

It was also odd that all the girls that were like family vanished. All of them? Do you mean to say there wasn't a single loyal person in the bunch?

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Anna built a nice relationship with Owen, but he didn't have much presence. We're left to assume they broke up offscreen, or he ditched her when she got arrested.

You would also think any of her clients would help out if it meant she'd stay silent about them. I believe that was the case in reality.

I wish we got a better sense of how shocked the community was to find out what she did. We missed a lot of that.

Also, initially, Anna thought the mafia kidnapped her. It meant she had some involvement with them, yes?

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She also had Vicky thinking that the random johns she sent to her apartment were possible mafia to intimidate her.

Understandably, the notorious madam prided herself on not disclosing her wealthy, powerful clients.

The film went out of its way not to focus much on the clients at all. But it would've added to the film if we had an idea of how much power Anna wielded and protection she had.

Like, whatever happened to the European woman who wanted to collaborate? She seemed to vanish too.

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The film's bones were good, and the gorgeous and talented Jana Kramer brought so much to this role.

The joy of watching this film was Kramer herself.

Over to you, Lifetime Fanatics. What did you think of this one?

Hit the comments below!


Editor Rating: 4.2 / 5.0
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Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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