"She's Out of Control" was actually one of two light comedies released in 1989 regarding overprotective, single fathers and their fifteen year old daughters who have just started dating. The other was "Dream Date," a made-for-TV comedy with Clifton Davis and The Cosby Show's Tempestt Bledsoe. Considering some of the minor characters in "Dream Date" (including Pauley Shore as a brain-dead high school student who was convinced that the father is the devil) and it being predicated upon more slapstick humor than we saw in "She's Out of Control," it is a bit funnier in comparison, although probably geared for the more "wholesome" family film choice. But in the end, there is still something lacking (and probably at my age, I would no longer find it all that funny) in a tale of an obsessive, overbearing father trying to prevent his teenagedaughter from participating in the dating game.
Be prepared for extra doses of Tony Danza, if you can. Here, he plays Southern California radio-show manager and single dad Doug Simpson, who's eldest daughter, Katie (Ami Dolenz)has just dropped her dorky vices (braces, magnified glasses) and gotten a make over. Now it seems, every boy in town is calling her or showing up at her doorstep to court her. And while this comes as a shock to her father at first, despite the insistence of his girlfriend, Janet (Catherine Hicks) that this is all normal for the girl and in fact, good for her, he is still unconvinced and becomes not only paranoid, but soon enters therapy.
Doug's therapist, Doctor Fishbinder (Wallace Shawn), decides that his book would serve as a handy guide, which encourages Doug only to intervene into his daughter's dating choices even further. On the one hand this is funny (such as the scenes with him walking in on a party and then befriending her "misunderstood" boyfriend, which winds up costing him his Jaguar), but on the other, the repetition may start to weigh on the viewer as the story becomes insurmountably ridiculous (I'm not sure where Danza was going with the explanation about being involved in the lunch counter sit-ins when he is under the impression that Leroy might have come to pick up his daughter for a date).
I would have to agree that this movie suffers from being too dated. That the appeal to audiences around the time of this film's release was probably the fashion, the music, even the actors themselves (Ami Dolenz for younger audiences and probably, Tony Danza, before he because more of a pop culture joke), things which are probably very cheesy by today's standards. Yet, I'm sure it is still a favorite among 80s nostalgics (although, I'll pass on this one). In any event, I think this kind of story much better done with Dream Date. Because it was a made-for-TV movie, it had to be sweet and concise.
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