STOLEN LIFE: DVD
Emma Norman (Odette Yustman) teaches second grade in Minneapolis, with a fireman for a fiancé, David (Johnny Baker). Pressured by her friends Lorraine (Hannah Marshall) and Stephanie (Hannah Banks), Emma agrees to a 'girls only' trip to Mittner's Cove, a San Diego beach, for Spring Break. A local, Greg (Antonio Sabato jr), befriends the girls and video tapes them for the entire weekend. Back at school rumors circulate that she's appeared in a pornographic film, and she loses her job and David breaks up with her. When she sees the film, Emma realizes that clever editing has made it appear that she was a willing participant in shocking behavior. Emma realizes that the only way to help herself is to take matters into her own hands.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Let this be a lesson to you, you naïve, silly young things, girls just wanna have fun eh? Well preying on the innocents are men like Greg (Antonio Sabato jr), charming and good looking but just under their surface charm lives a snake. The story begins with three grisl taking a spring break at a hedonistic San Diego beach, where Greg works the beat, lying in wait to trap girls into seemingly harmless fun, shooting their holiday on video.
A bit of dancing, drugs and drink later, things start going bad for the girls, even before they realise it, as the games are caught on tape .... for later editing into a saleable home made porn movie. And when that tape surfaces online, Emma's (Odette Yustman) life starts to go pear shaped.
Yustman is pretty enough and entirely credible as the target of such a scam; she delivers lively characterisation as an ordinary young woman caught in a nasty situation, the more so for its ambiguity. The strength of the film is its strong story and the unfussy direction, coupled with fine performances. Near the end, the filmmakers can't help but take a didactic approach to the topic of women being used in so many ways in modern society, but it's excusable considering ... besides, it provides an opportunity for our heroine to get angry and claim her honour, which she never lost.
It may be a tad simplistic but it delivers uncomplicated escapism, made with the well oiled machinery of Hollywood.
Published April 23, 2009
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STOLEN LIFE: DVD (M)
(aka Reckless Behaviour: Caught on Tape)
CAST: Odette Yustman, Antonio Sabato jr, Hannah Marshall, Hannah Banks, Tobia Alexander, John Barrker, Alison Bruce, Mike Edward, Emma Fenton
PRODUCER: Grant Bradley, Bob Christiansen
DIRECTOR: Donald Wrye
SCRIPT: Donald Wrye
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Neil Cervin
EDITOR: John Blizek
MUSIC: Claude Foisy
RUNNING TIME: 87 minutes
PRESENTATION: 4:3; DD
SPECIAL FEATURES: none
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Peacock Films
DVD RELEASE: March 19, 2009