I think the problem for the critics at the time was that they'd seen a sequence of films dealing with close variants of the basic storyline in THE GENERAL's DAUGHTER and this certainly may have colored their perspective on the film. (Many of those films are listed in Russell Smith's review, for which I'd planned to provide a link, but got sidetracked. It can be found below.)
My feeling is that the psychology and societal hypocrisy prevalent in this very charged area of sexual misbehavior (admittedly, a euphemism for the actions in question) is more tellingly explored in GONE, which has more active participation in the action by an aggrieved protagonist. In THE GENERAL'S DAUGHTER, there is simply too much "telling" of the events, due in part to the plot mechanics--which involve a series of increasingly lurid flashbacks (which is precisely where a high preponderance of critics began to "cry foul" about how the story was being handled).
Mick LaSalle prefaced his own objections to this in his review of the film:
There's a line at which a movie stops being about something nasty and becomes one more example of the nastiness it's supposedly condemning. Determining if the line has been crossed is subjective and will vary from person to person.
One would have to examine the source novel to see if the psychology of the victim was handled more deftly, but I think this is one of the issues that causes the film to drop down several notches from the far more arresting juxtapositions that animate GONE.
LaSalle singles out Leslie Stefanson, who portrays the titular character, as someone with serious star quality. But in certain ways we can see that this was a rather exploitative role for her, with so little opportunity to establish a personality (the "reveal" scene--no pun intended, given her nudity throughout it--is clumsy dramatically and contradictory psychologically). Stefanson, BTW, drifted out of acting several years later despite her talent and beauty, and in the intervening years has become a sculptor (with a pretty successful career).
Summing up, I don't see a way to make a case for THE GENERAL'S DAUGHTER that is anywhere close to as strong as the one you've generated for GONE. (And, of course, we did manage to get a truncated version of your writing about it printed in the NC e-zine at the time.)
Austin Chronicle 6/26/99 review of THE GENERAL'S DAUGHTER