Escaping the Enemy
Erin (Sunny Mabrey - The Trainer) met Darren (Jason Wiles) when she was a struggling single mum and he was a cop who pulled her over for speeding. Years later and having married and had a son Erin and Darren seem the perfect family with Darren having gone to law school before becoming a respected District Attorney. But behind closed doors things are very different as Darren is a controlling, abusive husband who knows that no one will believe Erin if she calls in the cops. Whilst Erin tries to stick it out for the sake of their children, especially teenager Amy (Grace Van Dien) who is in her final year at school and just got a boyfriend, it becomes too much and so decides they must escape. Unfortunately for Erin escaping is not that easy as after they have gone he puts an Amber Alert out on them.
"Escaping Dad" is another one of those movies which takes the "Sleeping with the Enemy" set up of an abused wife trying to escape from her controlling, abusive husband. Now there have been a lot of movies which have used this set up before with the abusive husband being all sorts of things including a few where the husband is a cop. As such there is a certain element of familiarity to "Escaping Dad" with Darren being a respected DA who uses his position of power to pull strings to have the police try and find Erin whilst at the same time using that position of power as a cover for being a wife beater. Even the set up of her son being a diabetic, whilst adding some dramatic scenes to the movie, is also quite a familiar subplot.
But "Escaping Dad" is not just your stereotypical battered wife on the run storyline as not only do her children not understand why their mother has taken them, with Amy being the typical stroppy teenager, but Darren is also a corrupt DA with Erin knowing something about a case he was involved in which could put him in deep trouble. In truth some of the subplots in "Escaping Dad" are worked surprisingly well from young Charlie having a fit due to rising sugar levels to hiding out on a motel roof when the cops track them down. It means that whilst the focus is less of a domestic abuse movie it does give it plenty of entertainment and drama especially when Erin meets Wes, a handsome trucker who typically ends up involved and helping them with Trevor Donovan getting to deliver not just nice guy but also hero nice guy.
What this all boils down to is that "Escaping Dad" does a nice job of taking the familiar storyline of an abused wife on the run and adding enough extra elements to make it entertaining. It does mean though that whilst the set up is of an abused wife getting away from her controlling husband it isn't so much about the abuse but the drama of not getting caught whilst also meeting a nice guy who helps.