Lifetime’s If I Can’t Have You: Is the Movie Based on a Real Case?

Lifetime’s ‘If I Can’t Have You’ is a mystery thriller film that follows a disc jockey named Michelle Hall who is loved by her fans, but she becomes the subject of obsession by an anonymous demented fan. Living with her boyfriend, Aiden, she is also bothered by her nosy and creepy neighbor, Mr. Sklar, who seems to stalk her and hence, knows her every move. So, naturally, Aiden believes that Mr. Sklar is the demented fan who has been bothering Michelle.

What makes Michelle’s life all the more complicated is when she starts getting strange calls and gifts at her doorstep, making her and Aiden wonder who might be the creepy stalker. The David DeCoteau directorial features impressive onscreen performances from talented actors, including Jackee Harry, Bailey Kai, Gina Hiraizumi, Houston Rhines, Tracy Nelson, Michael Pare, and Eric Roberts. Since there are a lot of realistic elements, such as stalking, included in the thriller movie, some of you are bound to pose the question — is ‘If I Can’t Have You’ rooted in true events? Well, let’s find out more and explore the same, shall we?

If I Can’t Have You is a Fictional Story

No, ‘If I Can’t Have You’ is not based on a true story. With the screenplay of movies like ‘I Spit on Your Grave,’ ‘The Wrong Cheerleader,’ ‘A Daughter’s Deception,’ ‘Sinister Stepsister,’ and ‘Bad Influence’ in his repertoire, Adam Rockoff made the most of his experience, writing prowess, and creative mind to come up with the enthralling storyline of the Lifetime movie. At the same time, he managed to introduce certain subjects and characters in the screenplay that make it seem very true to life.

Given the realistic themes and elements of stalking and nosey neighbors, many of you are bound to find them realistic because cases of stalking are not something unheard of in real life. For instance, in March 2023, there was a stalking case that ended up in the deaths of Podcaster Zohreh Sadeghi and her husband Mohammed Naseri, who were killed by the alleged stalker Ramin Khodakaramrezaei. The suspect then reportedly died by suicide. As you can see, stalking cases tend to get horrific in real life, just as dramatized in the film.

Another reason for you to find the movie’s subject matter familiar is that it is not the first time we have seen such topics represented on the screen. The themes of stalking and obsession have been previously explored in numerous movies and TV shows, such as ‘Enough,’ ‘The Bodyguard,’ ‘Ratter,’ and ‘You.’ However, one of the aptest examples has to be that of the 2015 Joel Edgerton directorial, ‘The Gift.’ Starring Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall, Joel Edgerton, and Allison Tolman, the psychological thriller movie revolves around the picture-perfect life of a married couple.

Simon and Robyn’s lives get turned upside down after encountering an old acquaintance named Gordo from the former’s past. Things get out of hand when he begins to show up uninvited with mysterious gifts in the couple’s house. The subject of a stalker and the element of mysterious gifts are common in both ‘If I Can’t Have You’ and ‘The Gift.’ So, considering all the factors mentioned above, it would be safe to say that the Lifetime film might include realistic themes, but it doesn’t change the fact that it is not rooted in reality!

Read More: Where Was Lifetime’s If I Can’t Have You Filmed? Who is in the Cast?