There’s Something Wrong with Aunt Diane (2011)

theres something wrong with aunt diane schuler poster 2011 documentary
7.0 Overall Score

A different feel for a true crime documentary

Not a documentary you go to for answers

Movie Info

Movie Name: There’s Something Wrong with Aunt Diane

Studio:  Moxie Firecracker Films

Genre(s):  Documentary/True Crime

Release Date(s):  July 25, 2011

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated

theres something wrong with aunt diane schuler gas station security footage

The last footage of Diane Schuler

On July 26, 2009, a car driven by Jackie Schuler going the wrong way on the Taconic State Parkway has a head-on crash into another vehicle.  Diane Schuler, Erin Schuler, Emma Hance, Alyson Hance, Katie Hance, Michael Bastardi, Guy Bastardi, and Dan Longo are killed, and the questions begin.  What happened to Diane Schuler and why were the children calling from the back of the car saying something was wrong with her.  With reports of alcohol and marijuana in her system, Diane’s sister-in-law Jay and Diane’s husband Daniel want answers about what went on in the car before the crash…and how could it happen?

Directed by Liz Garbus, There’s Something Wrong with Aunt Diane is a true-crime documentary.  It aired on HBO on July 25, 2011 and explores the life of Diane Schuler.

I remember when the accident occurred.  It was everywhere and missing time before the accident was one of the big questions.  I hoped watching this documentary would provide some answers…but like the people in the film, the movie leaves you with no answers.

theres something wrong with aunt diane larry king live daniel schuler

The family faces questions

The makers of the film pose a good question to Diane’s sister-in-law Jay “What if the answers you get are the answers you don’t want?”  While the film is intentionally working onto a possible medical condition or a mistake with the testing, the film does its best to verify the medical records (running into some very problematic issues with the investigator hired by the family that quit when money ran out).  Unfortunately, the medical records really don’t provide much more (but they are verified).

The documentary crew dives into Diane’s personal life.  While her family heralds Diane (which makes sense), other throw some question on what was going on with her.  She had some problems as a kid in her family household which is unrevealed and some of her friends indicated she had changed after her marriage.  Others stood with Diane and said that the behavior was out of character (possibly due to chronic pain).

theres something wrong with aunt diane schuler car accident photos

As bad as the car is, the documentary shows worse

The documentary uses some footage, some current interviews, and a few recreations.  It oddly waits until near the end of the documentary to outline the accident and what happened…which it feels like should have been earlier.  The film also chooses to include some post-accident pictures of Diane which feel jarring, hard, and very shocking.

There’s Something Wrong with Aunt Diane is maybe a more realistic true-crime documentary.  There aren’t answers, there aren’t villains, there aren’t winners, and it feels like everyone has lost (and it does not even start to get into all the legal issues that occurred after the accident).  A lot of true-crime documentaries come out a bit clean with answers and a nice neat bow on a crime or mystery.  There’s Something Wrong with Aunt Diane isn’t one of those neat documentaries…but you wish it was.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

Leave A Response