Like Getting Out, this 1996 Lifetime movie was found on YouTube. It stars 90s heartthrobs Fred Savage and Candace Cameron Bure as Bobby and Stacy, a high school couple who illustrates the dangers of an abusive relationship, a topic that was just beginning to be discussed around that time.
Stacy is a shy high schooler who, with the prompting of friends, starts conversing with Bobby, a popular high school wrestler. Bobby’s turned on, and the two start dating. Unfortunately, Bobby is a narcissist whose behavior turns possessive (wanting to know Stacy’s every move) and eventually abusive (he shoves Stacy around and slaps her).
Like many abuse victims, Stacy blames herself and justifies, “He really loves me; this is the way he is.” It’s hard to watch. Stacy is also the child of a single mother who is also dating a controlling man. She’s inspired when Mom finally dumps the guy, and she breaks up with Bobby for her own safety and serenity. Unfortunately, Bobby lures her to walking with him to a lake, where he slashes her throat. After some reluctance on the part of their mutual friend group, they finally turn him into the police, and he’s sentenced to life in prison.
The title comes from the witnessing of the abuse from their friend group and their hesitancy at addressing the issue. The judge who sentences Bobby scolds them for not saying anything or trying to do anything about it. It is hard and scary, but it is necessary, and in this case, it could have prevented a young girl’s death.
As I wrote this review, I pondered whether I actually wanted to post it as a pro-singlehood movie because of the sensitive subject matter, but it fits. One should never put up with an abusive partner because they’re afraid to be alone. One should never put up with an abusive partner period. Too many people stay in abusive relationships because of that fear. This film is, to put it mildly, an extreme cautionary tale on what can happen with an abusive partner. It should be required viewing in secondary schools.