Moment of Truth: Why My Daughter?

Drama, based on true story of a mother who lost her daughter to prostitution, stumbles over weak performances and predictable script.

Drama, based on true story of a mother who lost her daughter to prostitution, stumbles over weak performances and predictable script.

When Gayle Moffitt (Linda Gray) divorces Harry (Joseph Burke) after many years, their 17-year-old daughter Diana (Jamie Luner) takes the split very hard.

Rejected by her boyfriend, Diana becomes mired in unhappiness.

When a well-meaning friend invites her to a dance club to cheer her up, Diana meets A.J. Treece (Antonio Sabato Jr.), a slick, smooth-talking 23-year-old with no visible means of support and lots of pretty girls on his trail.

Diana is quickly seduced by the handsome A.J., who boosts her self-esteem to gain control of her life.

In no time, Diana has left school, quit her part-time job and is living with A.J., unbeknownst to either of her parents.

When Gayle discovers the truth, confronting her daughter at a strip joint where Diana is dancing, the schism between mother and daughter becomes even wider.

Her mother’s rage only forces Diana deeper into A.J.’s control, and ultimately into a life of prostitution.

When Diana is mysteriously murdered, Gayle goes on a crusade to bring A.J., who had repeatedly assaulted her daughter, to justice.

Despite the real-life roots of this story, the movie seems melodramatic and contrived.

The script is a mostly superficial recounting of the events of the story, with predictable emotional reactions from each of the characters.

There is very little credible explanation of what might have driven Diana into her downward spiral, or what her parents or society might have done to prevent this tragedy. Both Diana and her mother are sketchy, poorly drawn characters.

Performances are also weak, with the exception of Jamie Luner, who does a believable job.

Directing and production values seem by the numbers, with little effort to churn out anything more than a formulaic piece.

Moment of Truth: Why My Daughter?

(Wed. (28), 9-11 p.m., NBC)

  • Production: Filmed in Portland, Ore., by O'Hara-Horowitz Prods. Executive producers, Lawrence Horowitz, Michael O'Hara; supervising producer, Chuck Bowman; co-producers, Joseph Plager, Scott Martin; producer, Michelle Maxwell Mac-Laren; director, Bowman; writer, Liz Coe.
  • Crew: Camera, Michael Hofstein; editor, Jim Prior; production designer, Peter Wooley; sound, Richard Church; music, Bruce Babcock.
  • Cast: Cast: Linda Gray, Jamie Luner, James Eckhouse, Alanna Ubach, Antonio Sabato Jr., Joseph Burke, Louis A. Lotorto, Lisa Sigell, Michael Lucas, Jan Burrell, Kevin Quigley, Andrea White, John (J.R.) Knotts, Vana O'Brien, Jodi Taylor, Paul Nadas, Bob Roitblat, Mark Allen, Gretchen Corbett.