Last night, I turned on Lifetime and I watched Daughter for Sale!
Why Was I Watching It?
Well, the main reason was because the film was on Lifetime and I always enjoy live tweeting Lifetime films. There’s a strong community of Lifetime live tweeters. We all appreciate Canadian location shooting and unapologetic melodrama.
Add to that, Daughter For Sale is a great title. When you see that a movie is called Daughter for Sale, you really have no choice but to watch.
What Was It About?
Annalise O’Neil (Emily Rose) is a newly appointed judge. We know this because 50% of her dialogue consists of her telling people, “I’m a judge.” She also lives in a house that is almost totally made of glass. Seriously, it’s all windows and there’s no privacy.
Anyway, when the movie starts, she’s celebrating being a judge by throwing a party at her glass house. When she tells her teenage daughter, Carly (Emily Tennant), to put on a pink dress and come downstairs to the party, Carly responds by cutting the dress into pieces and then sneaking out of the house. Somehow, nobody notices her running away, despite the fact that the house is almost all window.
Anyway, Carly wanders around Vancouver for a while and then ends up getting kidnapped by a human trafficking ring that is operated by a pretend do-gooder named John Gallant (Antonio Cupo). Working with a whiny, leather jacket-wearing detective named Derek (Chris Kalhoon), Annalise searches for her missing daughter. (Her search basically consists of approaching random people and saying, “I’m a judge.”) Will Annalise and Whiny Detective Man be able to find Carly before she’s sold to the highest bidder?
Particularly for a Lifetime film, Daughter For Sale looked really good. The shadowy cinematography created the perfect sense of menace. The warehouse that Carly was kept in was pure nightmare fuel. We tend to take production design for granted but the people responsible for the look of Daughter for Sale outdid themselves.
Emily Tennant did a pretty good job as Carly. (Remarkably, despite spending about a month in a dirty old warehouse, Carly’s hair and makeup remained perfect throughout the entire movie.) Antonio Cupo was properly sleazy as the bad guy. I enjoyed the way the film contrasted Gallant’s public image with the monstrous reality of who he truly was.
What Did Not Work?
“I’m a judge.” Yes, we know, Analise! You don’t have to mention it every two minutes! You being a judge certainly isn’t going to get your daughter out of that warehouse…
This was one of those films where everyone continually switched from being super competent to being super stupid, depending on what was necessary for the scene. Analise, in particular, was always either a genius or the most naive jurist in history. Meanwhile, John Gallant was able to run a halfway house, a charity, and an international sex trafficking ring but he wasn’t smart enough to hide the incriminating evidence in his office. If you’re going to send a thug to beat up a judge, it might be smart to not allow yourself to then be seen, in public, hanging out with the exact same thug. Or, at least, that’s the way it would seem to me.
“Oh my God! Just like me!” Moments
“I’m a judge!”
No, actually, I’m not. But if I was, I would probably remind everyone every chance I got as well.
She’s a judge!