Trapped: The Alex Cooper Story tells the real story of Alex Cooper, a young girl sent to conversion therapy for eight months before she finally escaped.
Lifetime’s “Ripped From the Headlines” slate continues in week two with Alex Cooper’s horrifying story. Based on Alex’s book, Saving Alex, this movie focuses on Alex’s journey after coming out to her uber-religious Mormon parents.
Upon learning their daughter is gay and has a girlfriend, they ship her off to conversion therapy. It’s horrifying. But despite the tragedy of this story, there were some genuinely good moments demonstrating Alex’s resolve in between the abuse.
3. Frankie and Alex’s relationship
More from Drama
- The Serpent Queen season 2 release updates and everything we know
- Is Quantum Leap on tonight? (November 22, 2023)
- Is Magnum P.I. on tonight? (Nov. 22, 2023)
- Miss Scarlet and the Duke returns for season 4 at the top of 2024
- The Way Home season 2 trailer reveals 1800s storyline and release date!
One of the most beautiful parts of Trapped: The Alex Cooper Story is the depiction of Alex and Frankie’s relationship. I wish Lifetime would start writing more stories about LGBT women. It’s crazy that it’s 2019 and we can only see a gay storyline if it stems from homophobia.
Why can’t more of us gay people get terrorized by the Neighbor Next Door or Boyfriend They Met Online? But I digress, I felt moved by the depiction of their blooming romance. The two actresses cast to play Alex and Frankie, Addison Holley and Nicolette Pearse respectively, gave honest performances and had a nice chemistry.
Even though it doesn’t take long for Trapped: The Alex Cooper Story to careen into the heavy stuff, I relished the moments we got to watch these two girls slowly realize they were falling for one another.
2. Alex’s will to carry on
Despite everything that she was forced through between beatings, isolation, being forced to stand for hours every day with a backpack full of massive rocks, Alex never gives in to the desires of her jailers. Yes, at one point she does attempt suicide, but it’s impossible to not feel for her. She has been abandoned by her family and left to fend for herself as a mere 16-year-old.
Considering what she went through for eight months, Alex held up incredibly well. Never once does she genuinely believe she’s “not gay.”
She told them what they wanted to hear. Eventually, she is allowed back to school. Alex is incredibly brave when she finally reveals the truth to her new friend and school teacher.
1. The film’s ending
As mentioned above, Alex does return to school under close supervision. It looks like things aren’t going to improve much for her until she meets another gay teen who introduces her to the teacher in charge of the Gay-Straight Alliance. Eventually, Alex confesses her circumstances to them. They immediately help her find an attorney who agrees to help her pro-bono.
Alex is placed in a Youth in Crisis Center and finally reunited with Frankie in a heartwarming final moment. The only thing I disliked is that we didn’t get to see the downfall of Tania and Johnny.
I’m not sure if that happened in real life, which may be why we didn’t find out what happens to them. I wouldn’t have minded a little Lifetime fictionalization to see those monsters taken away in handcuffs.
What did you think about Trapped: The Alex Cooper Story? What other true crime movies do you enjoy? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
“Ripped From Headlines” continues next weekend with Abducted: The Mary Stauffer Story premiering on Oct. 5 at 8:00 p.m. ET.