TV film review: For My Daughter’s Honor or Indecent Seduction (1996), directed by Alan Metzger
One of my guilty pleasures is TV channel True Movies. Every made-for-TV “based on reality” you could ever hope for. This one caught my eye because it promised Alyson Hannigan and the oldest child from The Nanny. And Gary Cole, which I didn’t realise until I started watching. Apparently it also had a young Sean Murray (McGee in NCIS) as “Ralph”, whoever that was. Oh, if only I had known that beforehand, I would’ve kept an eye out!
Somewhere in Oklahoma, Amy Dustin (Nicholle Tom) is starting high school along with her two best friends Kelly (Alyson Hannigan) and Kimberly (Sara Rue). The school’s Biology teacher is also the coach of the football team – Pete Nash (Gary Cole), who has a reputation to be flirty with the pretty girls. Happens every year with someone in the freshmen class, who becomes the teacher’s pet.
Amy happens to be pretty. Guess who is blatantly groomed by the football coach as a result? And because her parents (Mac Davis and Mary Kay Place) are too busy fighting with one another to give Amy the time of day, guess who ends up falling for the dashingly handsome man who is so kind to her and says she’s special and all that?
It’s not as if the signs aren’t there, but the principal (Tom Virtue) brushes it all aside, not wanting to admit that there’s a problem in his school. Yeah, Coach Nash is very friendly and popular with the students, and so on … and neither the librarian nor a friend of Amy’s will make him believe that he has a textbook paedophile in his ranks.
Ah, watching True Movies is one thing … another thing to actually admit to liking what they’re showing. And I did. It wasn’t a fabulous script, the acting will not earn anyone an Emmy but I think Tom did a good job as the awkward teenager. What I really think was done well, though, was Gary Cole’s performance. He freaked the crap out of me!
“You’re accusing little old me? I would never have sexual intercourse with your daughter, sir. Not in your house, anyway. Mine, on the other hand …”
Yes, he’s handsome, but I was completely gobsmacked by his creepy manipulations. From the first tentative steps like passing her a note in the returned schoolwork, saying “you look pretty today :)”, which in itself is way out line, to inviting her on family camping trips so he can sneak her out of the tent and have his wicked way with her in the woods. She knows what he’s doing is wrong, but she doesn’t dare to go against him – because then he brings out guilt and threats. Despicable son of a bitch!
When her parents finally find out I think her mum does a great job. Of course children should be safe from sexual predators in school! Well, teenage hormonal horndawgs you can’t do much about, but at least students should be safe from their teachers. It’s amazing that this was not actually part of the law before the family’s lawsuit. You would’ve thought it was obvious right from the get-go!
Then there’s the whole matter of public opinion, because the story is sort of known at school amongst the kids, but when it comes out in public and the coach is suspended, the town turns against the girl and her family. Because then she’s a trouble-maker who is trying to sabotage their high school football team’s chances in the state league. So you’d let a paedophile run free to shack up with girls too young to resist just so you can win a sporting trophy?! WTF is wrong with you?! If this happened to one of my nieces you can bet your ass that I would not rest until the guy was safely tucked away in a prison where he belongs!
Eww, the story was not a pleasant watch at all. Having a schoolgirl crush on a good-looking teacher is one thing. If the teacher not only encourages it for the sake of his own ego, but actually preys on vulnerable young teenagers (let’s not forget we’re talking about a 14-year-old girl here) … that’s just wrong.
4 out of 5 cars you’re too young to drive. (What’s with that anyway? She’s too young to get a driving license, but she’s allowed to drive a car completely unsupervised?!)