Review

  • It's hard to describe much about the film without giving away key scenes, so I'll be brief and concentrate on other aspects. A suicidal teen (Ringwald) returns home after a botched attempt and falls in love with a neighbor boy (Galligan) whom she's known forever. She's having trouble readjusting while he discovers some unsettling things about his family and deals with pressure from his father concerning school. It seems all they have is each other and no one understands them except them, of course. Then after the expected scene of them caught in bed together, they are forbidden to visit again. This sends them reeling even more and leads to a harsh decision. The ads (when it's run on tv) or other plot synopsis might give away what they do, but I'll keep it hush here. Only other thing I can add is that the outcome to their action sends the film into a gripping emotional state for the rest of its duration. One of the most powerful scenes I've ever watched occurs on the front lawn with Mason, Sorvino and the two kids. If it doesn't grab ya and get the tears goin' (yes, it got me) then I don't know what would. The acting is just haunting, particularly Sorvino. Unfortunately after that, the film sags a bit, running out of juicy plot threads (except for one) and limps to its conclusion. Moments that follow divert between heart-wrenching to soap opera-ish and are slightly over acted. The highest mark for the film goes for the cast. A ton of well-known faces are featured, beginning with Galligan ("Gremlins"), everyone knows Molly ("Breakfast Club", "Sixteen Candles"), Burstyn ("The Exorcist"), Mason (most recently Frasier's dad's girlfriend on "Frasier"), Sorvino ("Goodfellas"), Phoenix ("Stand by Me"), O' Roarke (little girl from "Poltergeist"), and even the music is by James Horner ("Titanic"). He supplies a subtle clinking of a couple piano keys that's perfect. The few intolerable things: Galligan a bit hammy at times, plus he runs kinda girlish. And why is O'Roarke's voice dubbed? Even for a kid she had a long resume at that point, why dub her? And again, the ending drags a bit, which isn't helped by its lengthy running time. It's about 2 and half hours long, but was first aired over two nights years ago. The other night on Lifetime, they showed it one 3 hour block, so it could wear on you. That's if you can find out when it's on, it being a tv movie, you never know when it could pop up. But you'll be treated to great storytelling and a nice cast. I've always wondered how they got Ringwald to appear right in the middle of her stardom. The answer could be that Hunt Lowry, who produced some of her John Hughes films, produced here. The best of luck bumping into this on tv somewhere or maybe in the video store. Ranks behind "Firstborn" and "Shoot the Moon" as best family drama.