A Father's Dilemma
Martin Parish (Brady Smith - Meet My Valentine) is a hard working widowed father, running a contracting business whilst also raising his teenage daughter, Natalie (Sadie Calvano). With Natalie really needing to win a scholarship to go to college Martin is happy when Natalie wins an election for student council treasurer as it will help. But it leads to Natalie becoming a lot more popular at school, especially with Sam Cahill (Reiley McClendon - Accused at 17), a sports jock. That not only leads to complications as Sam is the son of Bruce (Parker Stevenson - Hidden Truth), an old friend of Martin's, but it makes Martin fear that Natalie will follow in her mother's footsteps having been a party girl who ended up having an affair.
"The Perfect Daughter" is one of those made for TV movies which you will find with a few titles such as "A Father's Denial" and "The Carpenter's Daughter". But in truth I reckon the best title would have been "A Father's Dilemma" as the focus of the movie is all about how Martin Parish deals with a chain of events as his teenage daughter, who had always been his good girl, suddenly becoming a kind of typical teenager who gets drunk and has sex.
Now that doesn't sound that special but "The Perfect Daughter" starts with Martin rushing his daughter to hospital after picking her up drunk from a party only to discover whilst at the hospital that she also lost her virginity at the party. It is a well worked scene because of Brady Smith doing a fantastic job of emoting the pent up emotions of a father having to deal with learning that his daughter has become sexually active whilst also feeling protective towards her, wanting to blame someone else for her actions as she is her good girl, the perfect daughter.
The above though leads to a whole host of issues for Martin and Natalie as not only does the relationship between father and daughter change with Natalie becoming increasingly moody but things become awkward between Martin and Bruce, the friend who has actually helped Martin win various contracts. And on top of that Martin works with his brother-in-law Nick who is a bit wild like his wife was, causing Martin to worry that Natalie will take after her late mother's side of the family.
It makes "The Perfect Daughter" a different sort of TV movie and one which is surprisingly engaging. Much of that comes down to Brady Smith who does this good job of playing Martin as he struggles with accepting his daughter has grown up and that no one is to blame for her losing her virginity. You can feel his pain and the confusing mess of emotions going through his head as he has to balance being protective with letting go whilst accepting that his daughter is responsible for her life and what happens in it.
What this all boils down to is that "The Perfect Daughter" is a different sort of TV movie and one which ends up surprisingly engrossing as we observe a father's dilemma with Brady Smith really excelling in this role of a father dealing with his perfect daughter growing up.