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A Reason to Believe 1995
Description: Sorority gal Charlotte's innocence is lost after she is raped during a frat party. Confused, terrified and shunned by her peers, she finds solace and the courage to confront her aggressor after she is befriended by the leader of a campus women's group.
Released: 27 Oct 1995 Director: Douglas Tirola Writers: Douglas Tirola Actors: Jay Underwood, Allison Smith, Danny Quinn, Georgia Emelin Genres: Drama
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A Reason to Believe Reviews:

Unlike many viewers, I did not seek this movie out simply to catch a glimpse at Holly Marie Combs' breasts.I thought that the method the film portrayed the feelings of loneliness, confusion, isolation, and guilt that rape victims go through was very well done. The movie did a nice job showing the rape from a predominantly impartial standpoint and the method that it showed both sides of the storyline was very impressive. The rapist was not a one-dimensional creep and the woman was not a fully innocent victim. They were both depicted as fallible and human. This was a large relief to me. I was growing increasingly tired of seeing rape situations depicted as black and white. The movie, though fairly anonymous, did a nice job at depicting the multiplicity of emotions and actions that occur doing a tragedy like that. Unfortunatlely, the film lacks classic Hollywood exaggeration and some might search it a bit dull. In its quest for authenticity the film comes across as a bit too slow-paced. Overall though, its very nicely done.BTW - Holly Marie Combs did a magnificent job in the tiny part that she had. Her hero served as a nice foil to the protagonist. Her main monologue was simply fabulous. She did a nice job. Too bad, the film should have benefited with more screen time from her.


1995's "A Reason to Believe" has gained notoriety over the years as the low-budget movie where Holly Marie Combs, of "Charmed" fame, does a topless love scene. This is unfair, as the film, shot "on a shoestring" by first-time director Douglas Tirola, is a remarkably well-made, sensitive look at date rape, and the aftermath to both the victim, and those around her. Without resorting to either preaching or titillation, the movie remains one of the better dramas of an trouble that continues to plague college campuses.The heroine of the storyline is young Charlotte (Allison Smith), a famous sorority girl, who, vs the wishes of her boyfriend, Wesley (Danny Quinn, son of Oscar champion Anthony Quinn), attends a frat party alone, where she is raped by Wesley's greatest friend, Jim (Jay Underwood). As Jim brags of his 'conquest', Charlotte goes through a period of self-loathing and denial, until Jim's ver destroys her relationship with Wesley, the friendship of her sorority sisters, and makes her an unwilling 'Cause' for the campus feminist group. Forced to take a stand, she finds her reputation smeared by Jim, his fraternity, and even her ex-friends, until the Dean ("Animal House" 'Neidermeyer', Tag Metcalf), calls in both parties to learn the truth...While the fraternity scenes are more 'Delta House' than real, the chain of happenings rings real (Jim's girlfriend, so devoted that she'd rather lie about Charlotte than 'lose' him; Wesley's 'rebound' bedmate, played with conviction by Combs, becoming other victim of Jim's unwanted attentions). Even an eyewitness to the rape (Keith Coogan, great-grandson of Jackie) cannot come forward, as he is a 'druggie' who would not be believed, only arrested if he spoke out.To Tirola's credit, he never permits the movie to slide into melodrama, preferring to let happenings to unfold naturally. The limited budget forces the film's resolution to be a bit rushed, and 'pat', but will still satisfy most viewers."A Reason To Believe" deserves praise for the quality 'look' it achieves (on a budget of under $200,000), the timeliness of the problems it addresses, and few outstanding performances. To remember it solely for a several moments of nudity does it a disservice!


But the storyline is well told, and as other review mentioned, not terrible for a tiny budget TV movie.Allison Smith is very nice in her role as Charlotte, a student who has a date rape experience. At first she seems to doubt herself. Fearing loss of her boyfriend, she hesitates.She is also contacted by the campus rape prevention group. Basically she wants nothing to do with it. At first. Everyone is out for themselves, their own agenda, she notes.Then she realizes that the same thing can happen over and over, unless someone takes a stand. Jay Underwood is also nice as the culprit. While they were at a fraternity party, he gives the another side of the story. There are however not just black and white problems here. Where to draw the line? This film is to be commended because it shows the confusion, mixed messages and impulses which can often lead to court situations or tragedy. Many times it is misunderstanding, or binge-drinking, or rage and retaliation.At any rate if you have a daughter going to college this movie addresses some key issues. Actually, it is relevant for most. 8/10.



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