5 October 2013 | ChromiumVortex
A movie to avoid at all costs!
Don't even waste your time on this sensationalistic piece of commercial tripe. "Fallen Angel" is not only another movie that takes a cheap shot at promoting pedophile panic politics, it was this film that opened Pandora's box for such. See http://www.westword.com/2004-06-17/news/age-inappropriate/. It played on the paranoia of American society at the time of its release. Richard Masur plays this oddball baseball coach named Howie who takes a liking to an adolescent girl named Jennifer. He is portrayed to act squirrelly and come on to the young girl at every opportunity that presents itself to him. Then he talks her into posing nude for him. You won't feel sorry for the girl. You'll just see her as another bratty adolescent girl who constantly craves for attention and likes making her own problems rather than as a genuine victim of sexual abuse or exploitation.
I am not mindless that some adults in positions of authority over pubescent and adolescent minors have a dishonorable propensity to pull rank with these youngsters in some of the most depraved ways. However, "Fallen Angel" implies that every man over the age of 21 who has ever shown even the slightest romantic interest in an adolescent girl is a prospective child rapist, while, in reality, the assertion that such men are pedophiles continues to be an argument rather than a conclusion of fact to this very day, and an extremely controversial argument, I might add. This movie plays on all of the insecurities of Americans over adult men taking any kind of romantic interest in adolescent girls. "Fallen Angel" paints its Howie character as this sex addict who lusts pubescent and adolescent girls and photographs them in the buff. The movie also inadvertently delves into the controversy over whether or not teen nudity on camera should be legal – a controversy that has surfaced repeatedly in the form of David Hamilton through the years. The movie does present an interesting scene at the beginning in which Howie has gotten a preteen girl pregnant, something rarely seen in these types of films.
You will find it interesting that the same year of this movie's release (1981), another film titled "Beau Pere" premiered in theaters. It was a French movie about a 30-something year old man who becomes intimately involved with a 14-year old girl after his wife dies. The girl in this movie is only one year older than the female protagonist in "Fallen Angel." This movie got rave reviews worldwide despite its controversial nature. When you compare both films with one another, it blatantly shows you that the American culture takes a diametrically opposing viewpoint to other cultures on the subject of romantic relationships between adult men and adolescent girls. The French are not as ready to push the pedophile panic button as we Americans are whenever they see a 13 to 15-year old girl walking down the street holding hands with an adult man, whereas Americans take a stubbornly hostile position on this issue despite the fact that most of us have at least one Loretta Lynn in our ancestry. Interestingly enough, in "Fallen Angel," you hear someone mention the word "pedophile" only once throughout the entire movie. That word was not used as frequently and compulsively back in the early 1980s as it is nowadays. "Fallen Angel" deceives its audience by painting Jennifer as this frail and easily manipulated innocent with no will of her own in the form of both her appearance and her behavior, whereas "Beau Pere" depicts the 14-year old female co-protagonist as this exotic, physically and emotionally precocious young girl blossoming into early womanhood who seeks a sophisticated relationship with an older man as opposed to a slippery one with a boy her own age.
My suggestion for all of you viewers is if you really want to see a movie that honestly depicts the horrors of pubescent and adolescent girls being sexually victimized, see "Things Behind The Sun" instead. That movie is about a 14-year old girl who is brutally gang raped by boys both the same age as her and not much older than her; all of them are under 18 years old, which is more realistic. Teenage boys have the most access to girls this young and the most opportunities to sexually victimize them. Moreover, "Things Behind The Sun" is based upon a true story, whereas "Fallen Angel" is not.
If you want to see a movie about the ills of adult men sexually preying upon pubescent and adolescent girls, see "Too Young To Die?" instead of "Fallen Angel." The female protagonist in that movie goes through torture at the hands of deviant older men until she ends up on death row at age 15; she is a girl who got the short end of the stick in life. It's a kind of movie that would even put tears in Roman Polanski's eyes. When I first saw "Fallen Angel," the first thing that came to mind is that if the producers of this film truly wanted to present a story about a little girl falling prey to a pedophile and child pornographer, why couldn't they have made the female protagonist only 6 or 7 years old instead of an adolescent so that this movie would have depicted the true ills of pedophilia, child molestation, and child pornography? Since the time "Fallen Angel" was released, numerous adolescent girls have put their dirty laundry on exhibition on daytime talk shows and bragged about all of their older adult sex partners. If you really want to see a movie about the ills of pedophilia, child pornography, and child molestation, see "Gardens Of The Night" instead. In that movie,the female protagonist is only 8 years old when she is kidnapped into a world of child sexual exploitation and pedophilia. "Gardens Of The Night" will make you cry towards the end of the movie and even during the movie. "Fallen Angel" won't. Avoid "Fallen Angel" at all costs.