Untamed Love (1994) starring Cathy Lee Crosby, John Getz, Gary Frank, Jaime Gomez, Mel Winkler, Richard Fancy, Betty K. Bynum directed by Paul Aaron Movie Review

Untamed Love (1994)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Cathy Lee Crosby in Untamed Love (1994)

For the Love of Caitlin

As a special needs teacher Margaret (Cathy Lee Crosby - The Sons of Mistletoe) is use to working with difficult children but is not keen when she is told she will have an addition to her class as she fears the addition will disrupt everything she has achieved. That addition is Caitlin (Ashlee Lauren), a young girl who is withdrawn and as the other children point out smells. Unwilling to just baby-sit Caitlin Margaret looks into her case and discovers the troubled background which has left her withdrawn and violent. But with the same patience Margaret makes headway with Caitlin fearing that what she has achieved will be lost if Social Services put Caitlin in a mental hospital as originally planned.

"Untamed Love" is based on the novel "One Child" by psychologist Torey Hayden which is an account of her work with a troubled and abused young girl. I have not read "One Child" but from the opinions I came across of "Untamed Love" it seems that this made for TV movie doesn't do the book justice. Now I could go through the argument that movies are never as good as the books they are adapted from but all I will say is that "Untamed Love" is good enough to spike an interest in those who have not read the book rather than effectively dramatizing it for those who have read "One Child".

Ashlee Lauren in Untamed Love (1994)

Now as someone who watches and enjoys TV movies I put "Untamed Love" in the group which I call compassionate true stories as whilst part of the movie is about Caitlin's troubled past which has lead her to be withdrawn and protective the real focus ends up on the Margaret character. It all comes down to Margaret's patience, dedication and caring as she makes leaps and bounds with Caitlin. Unfortunately despite having an original storyline it makes this a familiar movie which at times sadly ends up feeling cliche.

Part of that trouble comes from the characters as they end up cliches, Margaret is the dedicated good teacher, Dan is the boyfriend who wants commitment and feels their relationship is stalled because of her dedication to Caitlin and I could go on as all the characters end up just stereotypes from this type of movie. It makes it extremely hard for the actors to really make the characters feel real because they are so cliche.

What this all boils down to is that "Untamed Love" is not a bad movie but one which ends up a generic TV movie rather than feeling like an authentic adaptation of a true story.