TMG Scale 8.0
Starring Clive Owen, Catherine Keener, Liana Liberato, Noah Emmerich, Chris Henry Coffey
The messages in this film are too many too mention. Plan on an evening with your spouse or children after this film to discuss it. It will lead to provocative conversation and perhaps even some heated arguments. So be it. It will be worth it. And take your 14-year- old daughter or any teens you have.
Fourteen-year-old Annie Cameron (played by yet unknown Liberato) is any other teen trying to fit in. She texts and chats online constantly. She lives in a world that does not allow young teen girls to be young teen girls for long. She wants to fit in. She has great siblings and loving and successful parents. She meets a sweet young guy online named Charlie (Coffey). Charlie emerges from young teen chatter to 25-year-old to 35-year -old sexual predator. The meeting between Annie and Charlie leads to a hotel room. Creepy as Charlie is, Annie is not beaten physically and emerges “statutorily” raped. The law and common sense still recognize that 14-year-old girls do not “consent” to sex with adult males. Nothing really new in this story so far. Kids and parents have been aware of the Internet sexual predator for well over a decade now. The movie gets dicey from here though.
Annie’s best friend “narcs” on her. The police get involved. Her father Will Cameron (Owen) goes on a rampage to get the deviant who raped his daughter. Annie longs for the few moments of love she thought Charlie represented. Her mom, Lynn (Keener) seems lost, but strong enough to see her husband out of control. Trust is lost among everyone. [Apple sells tons of Mac computers in unprecedented product placement in this film.].
Here is the nearly unspeakable rub in this film. What are the hard line boundaries? Joy Lynn and I agree 180% that child predators should be shot, then hung, but only after extreme torture. But what about “consensual” sex? A 35-year-old guy with a 14- year-old girl? Clearly over the line. [Though Jerry Lee Lewis at 23 “did it” with his 13- year-old first cousin and we still sing his songs.] A 16 -year-old with a 21- year-old? A 17-year-old with a 24-year-old? Where does consent and even ridiculous love fantasy over practical reality fit in? Your bright line may be another’s fuzzy line. The real line is to remain focus where it belongs—the well being of the child involved.
This movie raises more questions than it answers, but the questiosn are very important and thought provoking. Share them.