Actress Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer) will be back on TV this fall in ABC’s Ten Days in the Valley, but first she’s making her directorial debut on Sunday with the Lifetime movie Story of a Girl, whose stars include her husband, Philadelphia’s Kevin Bacon, and their daughter, Sosie Bacon.
There are Lifetime movies, and there are Lifetime movies — every so often, the network throws a prestige project into the mix of stalkers and serial killers to see if we’re awake. So Sedgwick’s directing one isn’t a surprise. What is surprising is how well Story of a Girl works as both a traditional Lifetime movie and as something you wouldn’t necessarily feel the need to watch with an open container of ice cream in your lap.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Based on a novel by Sara Zarr, Story of a Girl stars Ryann Shane as Deanna, whom we meet three years after a video of her having sex as a 13-year-old went viral in her Oregon town. Time lapse aside, this is Lifetime fodder: the story of a young girl’s public shaming. Except that it’s more complicated than that.
Deanna has been shamed, and she’s desperate to escape a home where her own father, Ray (The Closer’s Jon Tenney), can barely look at her. But his own shame extends beyond Deanna — her brother Darren (Ian Belcher) is living in the basement with his girlfriend, Stacey [Sosie Bacon], and their baby, and Ray’s work life isn’t going so well, either.
Kevin Bacon plays the possibly too-good-too-be-true pizza shop owner whose hiring of Deanna takes the story to some places I didn’t see coming. It’s not a perfect story, or a perfect movie. But as a portrait of a girl who may not be perfect, but who is intensely human, it works.
Story of a Girl. 8 p.m. Sunday, Lifetime.