Picks and Pans Review: Daughter of the Streets
Okay, award bonus points for most-voyeuristically-gripping sweeps title, edging Too Young to Die. But the deck is more than a bit loaded in this overwrought drama about teenage prostitution.
Perpetually put-upon Roxana (Something About Amelia) Zal is hopelessly sweet as a high school martyr, taking care of her handicapped half-brother and working a minimum-wage job because her activist mother (Jane Alexander) spends all her own time on petitions and rent strikes. When Mom is hospitalized, Zal becomes the prey of a smooth-talking pimp (a surprisingly deft outing for John Stamos). After that pulpy setup, the film vacillates between steamy miniskirt scenes and Alexander's belated concern.
Yes, it's time for that strenuous TV-movie dance, back and forth between sleazy sensationalism and moral outrage. Daughter of the Streets executes the jig rather nimbly, but it's still patently manipulative.