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Michael Toshiyuki Uno
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Tracy Gold gives a balanced and believable performance
(Note: Over 500 of my movie reviews are now available in my book "Cut to the Chaise Lounge or I Can't Believe I Swallowed the Remote!" Get it at Amazon.)
This ABC "Original," "based on actual events," the kind behind the mail flyers showing the missing child "last seen with" and "age progression by...," might be subtitled, "Grunge Girl versus Batso Mom." When Grandmother Dede, sporting a sadistic smile, played with witch-like frigidity by Kate Jackson, can't have absolute control over her grandchild and slightly slutty daughter, Sarah, played by Tracy Gold, she drums up some satanic child abuse accusations against the leather-wearing, cigarette-smoking, bar-hopping ingrate. When that fails, Batso Mom escalates...
Subplot: Sarah meets handsome, long-haired hunk Jack at art class. This guy is so good he might be called "the saint who loves you." But Sarah disses him a little, and when he proves to be a good puppy dog, she throws him a little sex, and in the morning taunts him with the marriage question. He surprises by saying he thinks that would be okay. She never pretends to love him, but after he works seventy hours a week and buys the big house and puts up with her insensitive behavior and gets her pregnant, she learns to love him. Not only that, but she loses the leather and no longer waves a cigarette around. For unexplained reasons, it is Grandma Dede who sucks on the weed in the final reel.
This is no work of art, but more important in a MOW than artistic integrity or even artistic cleverness is how the movie plays according to the current politically-correct wisdom. Since most child-nappings are known to be by family members, this fits; and since virtually all "satanic abuse" charges are patently false, they got that right too. What they didn't get right is the casting and the sets. Everybody is too pretty to be real, and Sarah's apartment and then her house are like middle American dream homes when in reality they should reflect her low-rent, high school dropout, no-housework-for-me persona.
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