Her Desperate Choice (1996)

Faith Ford in Her Desperate Choice (1996)

To Protect My Daughter

Jody Murdock (Faith Ford) is convinced that her ex-husband Marcus (Alex Carter) has been molesting their daughter Samantha (Hanna Hall) but the court is unwilling to listen to her and orders that custody of their daughter be shared. Refusing to let her daughter be alone with her father Jody takes the desperate decision to take her own child from welfare and go on the run. She finds she is not alone as she discovers a whole underground network helping people in a similar situation, on the run to protect their children. But over time Jody becomes comfortable in her situation, letting her guard down which puts her at risk from being found by the detectives her husband has employed to track her and their daughter down.

"Her Desperate Choice" is firstly a true story movie and as such the power of that true story comes in to play and any story which touches on the subject of child abuse will have an impact. But look beyond the child abuse side of the story and I hate to say this but "Her Desperate Choice" ends up familiar because of the nature of the story which sees a woman on the run from a determined man, hiding in another town where eventually she feels comfortable with starting her life over with a new man.

Alex Carter in Her Desperate Choice (1996)

Now as such the minute "Her Desperate Choice" puts the set up in place with Jody out of desperation to protect her daughter going on the run you can predict what will follow. You know that Jody will spend some time on the move; unable to settle out of fear of being discovered until eventually she finds a good man and lets her guard drop. The only difference between this movie and others which are similar is that in this case it is the daughter who is the subject of abuse rather than the wife. Well there is also the interesting aspect of the underground network which proved Jody and her daughter with safe haven.

Despite this "Her Desperate Choice" works the familiar storyline well with some nice drama and emotion although it does often feel a bit soap-opera-ish in the way it handles some of the dramatic scenes. But what stands out for me is Faith Ford as I am only use to seeing her in lighter, more comedic roles and watching her do straight drama makes me question why she doesn't do more of it. Yes at times her performance like the movie is a bit soap-opera-ish but she brings out the emotion, fear and desperation of a mother who cuts up her old life to save her daughter.

What this all boils down to is that whilst "Her Desperate Choice" is based on a true story and one which touches on the subject of child abuse it plays out like one of those movies about an abused wife who goes on the run. It is interesting as we learn all about an underground network which helps women in this sort of situation but its familiarity is its undoing.