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15 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Sadly Candid

Author: Quirkystarburns from Calabasas, CA
26 December 2004

Unlike many viewers, I did not seek this film out simply to catch a glimpse at Holly Marie Combs' breasts.

I thought that the way the movie portrayed the feelings of loneliness, confusion, isolation, and guilt that rape victims go through was very well done. The film did a great job showing the rape from a predominantly impartial standpoint and the way that it showed both sides of the story was very impressive. The rapist was not a one-dimensional creep and the girl was not a completely innocent victim. They were both depicted as fallible and human. This was a huge relief to me. I was growing increasingly tired of seeing rape cases depicted as black and white. The movie, though fairly anonymous, did a great job at depicting the multiplicity of emotions and actions that occur doing a tragedy like that. Unfortunatlely, the movie lacks classic Hollywood exaggeration and some might find it a bit dull. In its quest for authenticity the movie comes across as a bit too slow-paced. Overall though, its very nicely done.

BTW - Holly Marie Combs did a superb job in the small part that she had. Her character served as a great foil to the protagonist. Her main monologue was simply fabulous. She did a great job. Too bad, the movie could have benefited with more screen time from her.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Well-Crafted Low-Budget Drama Deserves a Look...

Author: Ben Burgraff (cariart) from Las Vegas, Nevada
20 January 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

1995's "A Reason to Believe" has gained notoriety over the years as the low-budget film where Holly Marie Combs, of "Charmed" fame, does a topless love scene. This is unfair, as the film, shot "on a shoestring" by first-time director Douglas Tirola, is a remarkably well-made, sensitive look at date rape, and the aftermath to both the victim, and those around her. Without resorting to either preaching or titillation, the film remains one of the better dramas of an issue that continues to plague college campuses.

The heroine of the story is young Charlotte (Allison Smith), a popular sorority girl, who, against the wishes of her boyfriend, Wesley (Danny Quinn, son of Oscar winner Anthony Quinn), attends a frat party alone, where she is raped by Wesley's best friend, Jim (Jay Underwood). As Jim brags of his 'conquest', Charlotte goes through a period of self-loathing and denial, until Jim's version destroys her relationship with Wesley, the friendship of her sorority sisters, and makes her an unwilling 'Cause' for the campus feminist group. Forced to take a stand, she finds her reputation smeared by Jim, his fraternity, and even her ex-friends, until the Dean ("Animal House" 'Neidermeyer', Mark Metcalf), calls in both parties to learn the truth...

While the fraternity scenes are more 'Delta House' than real, the chain of events rings true (Jim's girlfriend, so devoted that she'd rather lie about Charlotte than 'lose' him; Wesley's 'rebound' bedmate, played with conviction by Combs, becoming another victim of Jim's unwanted attentions). Even an eyewitness to the rape (Keith Coogan, great-grandson of Jackie) cannot come forward, as he is a 'druggie' who would not be believed, only arrested if he spoke out.

To Tirola's credit, he never permits the film to slide into melodrama, preferring to allow events to unfold naturally. The limited budget forces the film's resolution to be a bit rushed, and 'pat', but will still satisfy most viewers.

"A Reason To Believe" deserves praise for the quality 'look' it achieves (on a budget of under $200,000), the timeliness of the issues it addresses, and several outstanding performances. To remember it solely for a few moments of nudity does it a disservice!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Another he said, she said...

Author: MarieGabrielle from United States
17 April 2007

But the story is well told, and as another review mentioned, not bad for a small budget TV movie.

Allison Smith is very good in her role as Charlotte, a student who has a date rape experience. At first she seems to doubt herself. Fearing loss of her boyfriend, she hesitates.

She is also contacted by the campus rape prevention group. Basically she wants nothing to do with it. At first. Everyone is out for themselves, their own agenda, she notes.

Then she realizes that the same thing can happen over and over, unless someone takes a stand. Jay Underwood is also good as the culprit. While they were at a fraternity party, he gives the other side of the story. There are however not just black and white issues here. Where to draw the line? This movie is to be commended because it shows the confusion, mixed messages and impulses which can often lead to court cases or tragedy. Many times it is misunderstanding, or binge-drinking, or rage and retaliation.

At any rate if you have a daughter going to college this film addresses some key issues. Actually, it is relevant for most. 8/10.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

pretty good

Author: augusthoney10 from United States
17 August 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I liked it i was surprised when i saw HMC in it i liked her part. But I really liked what she said: Like there was one line about " I don't apologize for liking sex, its just that i choose to have sex more often than people think a woman has privilege to... so when some dough boy like your friend has to crawl on top of me when i'm drunk or passed out don't tell me how i'm aloud to feel okay just don't tell me how I'm supposed to feel..." i think that line says so much. I didn't know that she was in it & just caught it on LMN & thought it sounded pretty good but it blew my mind when i saw her because i still think of her as good, wholesome piper from charmed. anyways the movie is pretty good & worth viewing.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Underrated and engrossing

Author: Snoopymichele from CT
20 April 2005

I first saw this movie years ago, and finally have gotten a chance to own it on DVD. It is one of the most realistic movies about college and the relationships and alliances formed there. The performances of Allison Smith, Danny Quinn,Keith Coogan and Jay Underwood are low-keyed and very natural. They seem to really understand their characters and avoid over-acting. The movie was shot on a shoe-string budget, but never looks that way. As far as Indie movies, it is top of the line. The music is phenomenal, the scenery is gorgeous, and the movie flows very well despite being directed by a novice. The story is engrossing, and you find yourself immersed in what Charlotte is going through. Ironically enough, Mark Metcalf ("Niedermier" from Animal House) plays the Dean. Gotta love it!

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4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

OK Movie

Author: TDVideo from NJ
24 September 2001

The movie isn't terrible, but it doesn't exactly stand out in my mind as a masterpiece of film making either. Let's be honest, the main reason most people are going out to rent this movie is for the chance to see Holly Marie Combs in her one and only nude scene. And while they are nice to look at, you only see her breasts on screen for about 5 or 6 seconds. It's a middle of the road movie for me, I give it a 5 out of 10.

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5 out of 10 people found the following review useful:


Author: KongKong from New York, NY
16 November 2003

A mediocre effort at portraying the injustices faced by one college girl (namely, rape). The movie's not all that well-made, and the only reason most people even see it is for the chance to watch a nude Holly Marie Combs (of "Charmed" fame). The scene is pretty short, and barely worth it. As a film, it's avoidable.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A Reason to Believe?

Author: Zalman666 from United States
16 April 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The sensitive issue of rape has, over the years, become very formulaic in films. The conflicts of which typically entail a woman bringing her assailant to justice via proving that she was raped despite ample disbelief and even ridicule. Writer/director Douglas Tirola's "A Reason to Believe" is certainly no exception under those circumstances, but stereotypical (and even ostentatious) characterizations of men and women and other situations make this film very unbelievable.

Like many film's that take place in college settings, the characters in Reason who are members of fraternities and sororities are both promiscuous and fond of alcohol and drugs. These pleasures are essentials throughout the Viking party hosted by the Beta fraternity house, at which attendees are scantily clad in togas and drink, get high, and get laid. It is at this party that Charlotte (Allison Smith) is raped by frat boy and friend Jim (Jay Underwood). Since Charlotte's attire wasn't conservative and she was seen dancing with Jim and because she didn't physically struggle with Jim when he raped her, it is not surprising that no one believes her when she claims that his advances were unwanted especially since, by this point, Jim has already bragged to his entire fraternity about his encounter with Charlotte. Among Jim's fraternity brothers is Charlotte's boyfriend Wesley (Danny Quinn), who was not only absent from the party but who also told Charlotte that he didn't want her to attend it for fear that she would look like "fraternity groupie", and the token stoner Potto (Keith Coogan) who actually witnessed the rape but remains mostly quiet about it. After all, who is going to buy his story since he was on drugs at the time? Despite Wesley's jealousy, it is ridiculous that he would be much quicker to believe Jim over Charlotte, but then again, the first time Wesley expresses his love for Charlotte is during a period of sex.

Further stereotypes are noted in Linda (Georgia Emelin) and her campus women's group, which, in many ways, desensitize the issue of rape. As a hardcore feminist, Linda pulls out all the stops for the benefit of her group and most of the women on campus such as demanding that the dean publish a rape victim's police report, voicing her hatred for all fraternities, and even referring to Jim's girlfriend Judith (Kim Walker) as a prostitute during the Viking party. The presence of Linda and her fellow feminists is ironic for after Charlotte is raped, she doesn't contact anyone who either anonymous or bound to confidentiality such as a therapist or law enforcer. Instead, she contacts the campus crisis center and speaks to one of Linda's cohorts who ultimately relays the entire story to Linda who arrogantly uses the incident bring her own women-related issues to the forefront.

The film's greatest flaw is the action that Charlotte decides to take. In an effort to avoid publicity (as if being seen with Linda could that) and time spent in a court of law, Charlotte takes her case to the school's administration board who, despite having no real evidence or feedback from a lawyer (and perhaps to shut Linda up), conclude that Jim actually raped Charlotte. As punishment, Jim is not arrested, but just expelled. I will not deny that this was similar to the ending I would like to have see, but it confines the film too much to a college atmosphere and the absence of people who are neither students nor faculty members doesn't make for a believable story about rape.

I give this film four stars for the actors in it clearly made the most of the material they had to work with and as far as production goes, the crew succeeded in making the most of their low budget. As a first-time writer/director, Tirola's intentions are both sentimental and noble. Unfortunately, the only the believable aspect of this film about rape is the rape itself.

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2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Sincere but superficial.

Author: Matt-377 from Charlottesville, VA
16 March 2000

A sweet college girl (Allison Smith) is raped by a chauvinistic frat brat (Jay Underwood), subsequently she fights for justice; but in doing so, she loses her boyfriend and friends, and faces the skepticism of the student body and staff.

Sincere but superficial handling of an important, pressing social problem: date rape, and the boundaries in which it lies. Film is done in by its predictability and stereotypical characterizations.

**1/2 out of ****.

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