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  • Trinity-667 September 2003
    This movie examines the fact that people who were abused by their parents are much more likely to abuse their own children. It takes a look at a family (mom, dad, teenage daughter and younger son) going through a crisis as the daughter accuses her father of sexually abusing her. The story follows the mother's therapy sessions and through this we find out that dad was an abused child and later on in the film that this was also the case with the mother. It's a daring movie especially because the abuser is not hidden away as he is in so many other movies we've seen about the subject. Robert Urich plays him as a wounded man who knows he did a terrible thing, but doesn't know what he can do to make it right again. Every gesture he makes towards his daughter is misinterpreted. Yet he has to learn to live with himself, as he fights his own demons. Meridith Baxter Birney plays the mother who can't believe she didn't know the man she loved dearly was abusing their daughter. She comes to understand her circumstances as she cries out to her own mother when she realizes she has "forgotten" her own abuse. The movie on a whole is slow and shallow and the 'technique' of filming the mother's therapy sessions as interviews makes it look fake. The daughter's feeling are not looked at in depth, but the focus on the parents makes the message come across.
  • It is tempting to try not to criticize a film such as this, dealing with the issue of a father molesting his daughter - one of the most horrible things a man could do to his child. To add to this, if it weren't enough, it turns out the guilty father (Robert Urich) and the suffering mother (Meredith Baxter) were both victims of molestation as youngsters themselves.

    However -- despite the subject matter, this is a bad movie. Urich and Baxter are attractive people, and their work in active careers has been credible if not remarkable. I do not see how, based upon the way this story was presented, anyone could feel an iota of sympathy for either. Urich died not long after the film's release, from cancer which he had battled for some time - and the whimpering, lethargic performance can probably be in part blamed upon the physical and emotional real-life problems he was encountering. Birney has played many roles of women riddled with angst, some due to persons menacing or otherwise mistreating her characters - and some where her character has been a raging sociopath. Her scenes with the therapist were weak - on the part of both characters - and did little to enlighten or portray a realistic therapeutic benefit to her in any way. Although Urich's "Jack" was already aware of his childhood tribulations, Meredith's "Carol" became aware of hers late in the presentation, as a result of the inevitable "dream," and then dialog with her widowed mother (Diane Ladd). Incidentally, the latter was a thoroughly selfish, unfeeling individual, and while apparently not physically abusive, would otherwise rate behind Joan Crawford in a Mother-of-the Year contest. And even the "revalations" gained from the therapist and mother were presented in a thoroughly unengaging manner.

    The daughter, Tess, played by the attractive young Shawna Waldron, gave a decent performance, but one imagines it was less than it could have been, based upon the other characters/performances/story presentation. The scene towards the end where Ulrich is alone in the house with her (before Birney arrives, incensed about this), where he delivers a monologue with an attempt to gain some father/daughter rapprochement, is perhaps even weaker than the 1-3/4 hours which preceded it.

    All-in-all, while the producers obviously felt they were providing a credible presentation of an important subject - they missed their mark by the proverbial "mile."
  • lindyincincy4218 February 2007
    Warning: Spoilers
    I agree with the revious reviewer on many points except I often woder in these movies why the vitim is always portrayed as crazed. I caught it about 1/4 way through and I am assuming that the very bad bad hair on the daughter was a wig. One of the things that is so distracting in these really bad lifetime movies, is that people rarely commit to the characters. If the young woman that played the daughter got paid to cut her hair off in a scene she should have committed. It may seem silly me bringing this up but the bad wig is really distracting and as they are trying to portray it as her real hair it makes the whole thing a huge focal point. I think over all that is always my problem with the films they show on lifetime, they have a really cheap feel. I know they don't have the budgets or the time that big screen releases have but they do have A BUDGET. They could easily take on stories that don't need much more than good acting and then hire some little known actors that perhaps are up and coming asd opposed to the same sappy soapy actors they normally hire. Funny how they always manage to get the ones that can't really make it on screen or are on their way out.