Though this made-for-TV movie trumpets its fact-based origins, its reliance on cliches robs it of the gravity the story merits. A divorced mother of two, Mary Joe O'Malley (Ann Heche) is always juggling the needs of her home life and her career as an Army captain. Having gained the respect of her men, Captain O'Malley has avoided being the target of sexism and even impresses military legend Major Nelson Gray, (Sam Shephard) when he conducts a training exercise at her base. And yet somehow, this exemplary female officer ends up accused of Major Gray's murder. O'Malley's advocate, Captain Walker Randall (Eric Stoltz), gives her the benefit of the doubt, but his client is less than forthcoming about her relationship with Major Gray. Randall must also clear the hurdle of a protective conspiracy aimed at preserving Gray's reputation, no matter what the cost. Because military higher ups are clearly willing to let O'Malley twist in the wind, her own men fear that vouching for her will jeopardize their careers. Flashbacks reveal the O'Malley did succumb to an affair with Gray, a married officer, but had no idea that he was psychologically unstable. When the clinically depressed Gray began stalking her and her family, O'Malley claims she severed all ties with him. The prosecution paints her as woman scorned and charges her with premeditated murder. Randall must convince a military tribunal that O'Malley acted in self-defense, but the odds are stacked against him. There's juicy material here, but the complex story is undermined by its presentation: Rather than capitalize on the suspense inherent in the character of a psychotic military officer, screenwriter Shelley Evans and director Christopher Menaul settle for telling a hopelessly conventional courtroom fable about male bias and tipping the scales of justice.
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- Released: 2000
- Rating: PG-13
- Review: Though this made-for-TV movie trumpets its fact-based origins, its reliance on cliches robs it of the gravity the story merits. A divorced mother of two, Mary Joe O'Malley (Ann Heche) is always juggling the needs of her home life and her career as an Army… (more)