Something About Amelia (1984)

Some secrets can only hurt.

Amelia has been keeping a terrible secret. Her father (Ted Danson) has been sexually abusing her. For the longest time, Amelia felt that being quiet about the situation was her best option. She mistakenly believes that she is the one to blame, and that her mother (Glenn Close) would never forgive her.

It is only after Amelia notices that her father is focusing more attention upon her younger sister, Beth, that Amelia decides to seek help. She cannot bear to think of Beth being subjected to the same abuse, so she confides in her school counselor.

When everything is out in the open, denial and confusion surround the entire family. Her mother at first feels that Amelia is lying. There is no way she could ever imagine her husband doing such an unthinkable act. As the shock wears off, she begins to believe her daughter, but then has to deal with her own strange feelings of jealousy. How could the man she's loved for years prefer his daughter over his wife?

Beth is still too young to understand the magnitude of her father's offenses. She is angry at Amelia for driving their father out of the house. If she could only understand that in doing so, her sister has saved her from the very same fate.

Amelia's father experiences the greatest transformation throughout the movie. When he was abusing her, he guarded Amelia like a jealous boyfriend. He didn't want her to go out on dates like a normal young girl. For, as he told her, no one could like her as much as he did. After he is found out, he claims that his daughter is making the whole thing up. But he later realizes that he has a serious problem that needs to be dealt with. None of the blame should be cast upon Amelia. She is the victim.

"Something About Amelia" shows what sexual abuse can do to an entire family, not just the victim. It displays the many emotions that are felt when such a terrible thing occurs: disgust, disbelief, anger, sadness. But, it also takes the view that rehabilitation and forgiveness are not unreachable either.

In my opinion, Ted Danson does his finest acting of his career in this movie. It's a far cry from his comic character on "Cheers", and he plays the role wonderfully. He makes you angry for what he has done to his daughter, but you also feel sympathy for a very sick man.


Stars: Ted Danson, Glenn Close, Roxana Zal

Director: Randa Haines

MPAA Rating: Made for TV

Why You'll Know It's From the 80's:
Amelia has a poster of Duran Duran on her bedroom door

Dog Appeal:
Many scenes at the dinner table

Daisy's Rating: 




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