The disturbing teenage phenomenon of self-mutilation gives substance to this standard "troubled daughter/monster mom" cable TV movie. Sullen, friendless schoolgirl Dawn Cotrell (Kimberlee Peterson) has been showing up at home with strange slashes on her skin. It soon becomes painfully obvious that Dawn is cutting herself to alleviate stress. Rather than deal with the problem like an intelligent adult, Dawn's mother, to whom appearances and total control are everything, merely hides all the knives in the house and orders her daughter to cease and desist. With no one to turn to--certainly not her milquetoast of a father (Robert Wisden)--poor Dawn resorts to even more desperate and destructive measures to work out her frustrations. Can compassionate therapist Dr. Parella (Rhea Perlman) come to the rescue before it's too late' Based on Steven Levenkorn's novel THE LUCKIEST GIRL IN THE WORLD, SECRET CUTTING originally aired on the USA network on May 30, 2000.
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