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No One Would Tell is an oldie-but-goodie that premiered all the way back in May, 1996. One only need to look at the IMDB plot keywords to see what we're dealing with here:
Physical Abuse / Abusive Boyfriend / Disturbing / Bowling / High School
Oh yes. Prepare to be bowled over by this made-for-tv masterpiece. Also, yay for puns.
We open in the woods. Fred Savage, famous for his role in
It looks like DJ just dumped Kevin. Kevin is not taking this too well. She promised him they'd be "together forever." We then cut to an extreme close-up of Kevin lips repeating the phrase "together forever." Holy fuck. I am being Rickrolled by Kevin Arnold.
Kevin emerges from the woods covered in blood. We flash-back to "five months earlier." DJ is watching Kevin wrestle. She has a crush on him. Yee-ha. Later that night, Kevin invites DJ and her friends, none of whom are played by Andrea Barber, to attend a party at his family's little shack by the lake. DJ and Kevin somehow connect despite DJ's boring, never-ending conversations about how she and her mom are so close. He seals the deal by giving her a unicorn necklace. "Unicorns are my favorite!" Ugh. Man, I'd stab her too.
Why does DJ always date wrestling captains?
I guess now would be the time to mention that every scene in this movie is in extreme soft-focus. I guess DJ and Kevin didn't age well. The focus is so soft that the movie's stars are featureless. God damn it, I expect better lighting from my made-for-TV movies.
The first sign of trouble between Kevin and DJ shows up at 9:19pm EDT. This is 19 minutes earlier than my prediction. (Obviously we're not counting the actual murder.) Kevin is jealous that DJ is talking to her friends while the two of them are supposed to be alone in the library. He gets so angry that he shoves her. I argued that my prediction could still be correct since that was only a shove and I guessed 9:38 for the first slap. A shove isn't as bad as a slap, right? My friends and roomates wouldn't engage in this argument so I guess I won.
The story chugs along. We learn that DJ lost her virginity to Kevin. Also, shockingly, Kevin has some real problematic jealousy issues. He expects DJ to only leave the house with his permission. He keeps bruising her by shoving her and grabbing her wrist and shoulders. Etc, etc, etc.
Soon, DJ's mother notices the bruises. Does she contact the authorities? No. She wouldn't tell.
Then her friends notice the bruises. But they wouldn't tell.
Kevin's wrestling coach sees Kevin shove DJ, but he wouldn't tell.
Then Kevin's friends notice the bruises. They wouldn't tell.
Finally, at a high school dance, DJ's bff and her boyfriend, Kevin's bff, see Kevin slap DJ across the face. They try to split them up, but DJ stubbornly insists that you don't leave someone you love. Surely they'd call the cops or tell some teachers what was going on.
No. NO ONE WOULD TELL.
DJ finally builds up the strength to dump Kevin. She spends her first day of freedom bowling with her friends. But she can't quit cold turkey. Kevin asks her to hang as "just friends." She obliges. They fight. He, along with one of Kevin's cronies, drive DJ to the lake. DJ gets her throat slit. "If I can't have you, no one can!" Then her corpse gets dumped in the lake.
Kevin tells everyone that DJ stormed off on her own. His friend and another girl, who is totally in love with Kevin, corroborate his story. But soon all of Kevin and DJ's friends put the pieces together. The male accomplice makes an anonymous call to some detectives. The body is found amidst some pretty deep melodrama as DJ's mom, played by Michelle Phillips, by the way, has a total breakdown.
Soon they're all testifying against Kevin. They all admit regret about not doing something sooner. The judge, Sally Jesse Raphael!, sentences Kevin to teen boot camp and a make-over. Just kidding. He gets life in jail with no chance for parole.
The movie ends with Judge Sally Jesse actually admonishing all of DJ's friends for not helping her. Let me paraphrase:
"HER BLOOD IS ON YOUR HANDS!!!"
Ok. The rankings.
Actual Awesomeness: 6
The lighting and soundtrack are so distracting that I can't possibly give the movie any higher than a six. So, a six it is. Sure the script is monotonous, but let's give credit where credit is due. This film was not poorly acted. I repeat, a movie on Lifetime, made-for-TV, was well acted.
Ironic Awesomeness: 4
Too well acted. This film is a perfect example of 1990's teensploitation. But, damn it all to Hell, it's not that funny. We know DJ is going to die. We know who did it. It just goes through the motions. It doesn't have any melodramatic twists that take a Lifetime movie and make it something grand.
Also, a penalty for avoiding all side-boob shots of Candace Cameron's body double in her shower scene. The scene is used to show all of her bruises, but, come on. Let's get some side-boob here.
Hey! That guy!: 10
Good God. Fred Savage. Candace Cameron. Michelle Phillips. That devilish looking guy from Six Feet Under and Conviction. Sally Jesse. GregAlan Williams. This is as good as it gets, people.
Ok. All the dudes, save for one boyfriend, are bad. It's melodramatic. It's just, I don't know. It's missing something. It probably deserves a ten, but I can't give it more than a seven. It's just missing that extra oomph.
GRAND TOTAL: 27
If only there were a disclosure of date rape or something like that. Then we'd be in the high 30s. No One Would Tell is an almost-classic. It's just not hilarious enough. Even the physical abuse scenes are understated enough to avoid the slapstick comedy I was expecting and hoping for.
I guess I expected better from a movie starring the director of Daddy Day Camp.