|Distributed by||Front Street Pictures|
|Directed by||Stephen Gyllenhaal|
|Produced by||Harvey Kahn|
|Written by||Benita Garvin|
|Release date||October 3, 2011|
|Running time||90 minutes|
Girl Fight is a television film that premiered on Lifetime on October 3, 2011. Inspired by true events, the film revolves around a 16 year old girl who tries to fit in with a popular group of girls, leading to a brutal beating upon joining the clique.
||This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (July 2013)|
Haley Macklin (Jodelle Ferland) is an academically advanced high school student. She sees herself as an outsider because she has skipped a grade. Her intelligence and well articulated contributions to class discussions cause her classmates to become jealous. Frustrated that she is left out from a popular group of girls, she posts negative comments about them on a social networking website. Unexpectedly, she befriends Alexa Simons (Tess Atkins), a popular girl in school who is head over heels for Derek (Rady Panov). Haley offers to help Alexa with her schoolwork. Haley soon breaks the social barrier between her and the popular girls and is accepted by most of them. The girls with whom she does not make a connection are slightly suspicious of her. Haley's behavior changes drastically. She disobeys her parents and is rude to her sister. Her mother, Melissa (Anne Heche) endeavors to make allowances for Haley's attitude and is more lenient than her father, Ray (James Tupper).
One day, the popular girls discover the harsh comments that Haley posted online and they feel betrayed. The girls decide to physically attack Haley, while videotaping it. They also plan to post the images online. Clueless about this revenge plot, Haley is invited over Alexa's house. The girls are waiting by the door and once Haley steps inside, the girls taunt her, calling her names and then they beat her viciously, until she became unconscious. The entire beating, which was recorded on video, lasted 30 minutes (condensed in the film). After the brutal attack, Haley wakes up bruised, bloody, confused, and helpless in front of the girls who continue to taunt her. They drive her to a parking lot and abandon her there, but not before the egocentric girls restrict her from telling anybody about this incident; otherwise the aggravated girls will possibly beat her once again to a bloody pulp if she dared to tell anyone. Within a few seconds after the girls flee, good Samaritans come to Haley's aid.
When Melissa and Ray find out about what the girls did and that Haley is in the hospital with a concussion, a ruptured eardrum, and a permanently damaged left eye, Melissa confronts Alexa and her two other friends that took part in the vicious beating, Kristin and Taylor. Realizing that Melissa knows exactly what happened to Haley but has not seen the video footage, the trio attempt to make various excuses to her and to Alexa's grandmother Marylou (Linda Darlow), and briefly avoid telling her the truth by driving her away after the trio secretly taunt her under the guise that they don't know what Melissa is talking about and that she could be lying. This conversation causes Marylou to become suspicious of what the girls really did and when she attempts to retrieve Taylor's phone, the trio refuse and Kristin and Taylor escape the house anxiously via Alexa's open sliding door. When Marylou asks her granddaughter about what might be on the video, an ignorant Alexa still refuses to answer her question. Realizing that a video frame of Haley's bloodied face is still showing on a computer screen, Alexa tries to exit the video, but Marylou sees it before Alexa can act, leaving Marylou disappointed.
Haley's parents receive the footage of the brutal beating from Marylou. It was stored on a USB flash drive. After finding out that her grandmother had given Haley's parents the footage, Alexa grows infuriated with Haley and her family, with Marylou explaining that she should be on her knees, begging for forgiveness. After viewing it, Melissa and Ray decide to take serious action against the girls, by alerting authorities. Alexa, Kristin, Taylor and the two other girls that took part in the beating, Becca and Lauren, are arrested and charged with kidnapping and battery. They are released on bail and although she did not take part in the beating, Alexa is being called the ringleader of the beating because she was the one who planned it. At high school, students cheer the girls for their violent act. However, Becca, after watching the video and realizing that she had beat Haley severely, turns her back against the girls, while the rest of the girls themselves show no respect and are careless of the injuries sustained in the beating. While the kids at school think the girls are "cool", people from around the country have seen the video, causing nationwide public outrage. While using a restroom, Haley is confronted by an aggravated, angry and vengeful Alexa, and although Haley claims herself to be brave, Alexa refuses to believe her claims and instead thinks she is still afraid. Alexa then berates at her, calling her a "sniffling little baby", accuses her for contacting police, insists that the beating was not a big deal despite the outrage and conspires more threats to beat her without hesitation. When Melissa breaks up the feud and shoves Alexa away from Haley, Alexa yells at her and insists that she never touched her and then says that she could have took the part in beating her daughter as well but never did. Melissa is then confronted by an infuriated and disappointed Marylou who says that Alexa and the four others are looking at a life sentence.
Haley thinks the life sentences for the five girls should be reduced and her mother agrees to recommend this, but they disagree on the plea bargain the girls' lawyers had arranged, as they believe that lighter sentences are the appropriate punishment for the girls instead of life. The girls responsible for the attack are found guilty of all charges and do receive light punishments at the end of the film; Alexa gets three years probation, 100 hours of community service, and is ordered to pay Haley and her family $1,700 in restitution; Becca and Taylor each get one year probation; and Lauren gets one year probation, and is ordered to pay Haley and her family $2,000 in restitution. Kristin, however, is the only one sentenced to 15 days in prison, and is placed on three years probation; In addition of the above sentencing, the five girls are banned from any social network sites for the full term of their probation.
The film was inspired by a 2008 beating in Florida; a video of some of the beating, released by Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, was used heavily by the news media and the story caused nationwide public outrage. Additionally, Anne Heche and James Tupper who play Haley's parents, are a couple in real-life.
- Jodelle Ferland as Haley Macklin
- Anne Heche as Melissa Macklin
- James Tupper as Ray Macklin
- Tess Atkins as Alexa Simons
- Keely Purvis as Kristin
- Genevieve Buechner as Lauren
- Taylor Hui as Taylor
- Chanelle Peloso as Dana
- Caley Dimmock as Becca Lawrence
- Linda Darlow as Marylou Simons
- Lanette Ware as DA Jane Dennett
- Rady Panov as Derek
- "Lifetime's Girl Fight Based on True Story of Victoria Lindsay". InsideEdition.com. Retrieved May 13, 2012.
- "Local Teen Beating Inspires Movie".
- "Videotaped beating sparks national outrage".