9 March 2008 | caa821
Vacuous in every regard
There are a couple of prior comments here which opine about this flick's abundance of clichés throughout -- and I agree completely, both with regard to the characters AND the dialog.
I'd read about Elizabeth Berkly's awful performance in the equally-awful "Showgirls," which I've never seen - and her performance here, while not awful, is barely up to the standards of Lifetime's worse fare. There was not a hint of depth to her character, but then there probably shouldn't have been. If so, it would have placed the film completely out-of-balance, since there wasn't a hint of depth or charisma - not a trace - in any one character, performer, or portrayal.
The principal's handling of Liz's initial complaint after her tutee had kissed her in the hall was laughable. Her husband's initial reaction and advice were likewise (Forrest Gump, attacking Jenny's boyfriend in his car provided a more realistic, intelligent action, and, hell, he was mentally-challenged).
The smarmy, unctuous lawyer (excuse the redundancy) father of the lying student actually performed something probably worthy of praise in his performance: he was both laughable and thoroughly annoying at the same time, no mean feat. Her attorney was more of an insensitive nerd, also not unknown in the profession.
Finally (and frankly, I rather enjoyed this part), the police were such a collection of insensitive oafs, that you'd rather depend upon Barney Fife, without Andy, to handle all law enforcement and investigation in your community. I know that most real-like cops fall a bit short of the sharpness, intelligence and empathy of the level displayed by most characters on the "Law and Order" series', and the like -- but dolts of this level seem to be a staple on "Lifetime."
Finally, I found a kind of "story within a story" fascination with Josh's concoction of his being the "victim" of his teacher. This scripted performance within the story was even worse than his overall performance in the main story. This was something of an achievement, like going from "F" to "F-minus."
This whole lame situation should have been resolved - in real life - in about 15 minutes, following a realistic meeting between teacher and school authorities, with husband involved. But then that would have precluded the contrived drama following, and left an hour's blank film in the camera.
But the writer(s) here, proved with their ending, they could do even worse. When the situation was finally "resolved" and "righted," this was accomplished in all of about 45 seconds, with no indication of what measures might have been forthcoming in any "real world" context for the perpetrator and his parents, or whether they might have been able to find some sort of path toward redemption.
This one's a 2* presentation; the second "*" because it does have some mild "fascination."