26 June 2003 | amjets0912
If you can stand a certain degree of predictability in return for some nice, honest and thoughtful performances, this is an enjoyable 90 minutes.
This made-for-TV movie certainly has its corny and melodramatic moments and there are some aspects that seem dated, but there are enough laughs and enough good acting to make up for it.
Anna Kramer (Colleen Dewhurst), a busy 46-year-old homemaker, has a lot on her plate: planning a trip to Vienna with her husband (Warren Oates), finding out that her middle child (Al Corley) has been kicked out of college and is living with a girlfriend she's never met, trying to keep the peace between him and her husband, dealing with her critical mother, and more. In the midst of all this, she's feeling "weird." A pharmacist gives her a wink when she describes her symptoms and a visit to her doctor confirms her suspicion that she is pregnant.
Something of a family crisis ensues after this news spreads. Anna's dumbfounded best friend (Allyn Ann McLerie) is no help. Her husband Michael states unequivocally that he does not want another child and instructs her to have an abortion. Sharing his opinion is their oldest child, Elizabeth (Maggie Cooper). Elizabeth and her doctor husband pressure Anna, claiming health concerns, as does Anna's mother Serena (Mildred Dunnock). Her older son is supportive, but admits he thinks having the baby is a crazy thing to do. Timothy Hutton (as younger son Jason) is Dewhurst's only equal in this movie, and his character is the only one who seems to care about his mother's feelings.
When Anna gets past the initial shock and has a chance to think about what SHE wants to do, she finds she is inclined to have the baby. She is able to see the baby on ultrasound (fairly newfangled when this movie was made) and after that, she is sure she can't possibly have an abortion. Michael, who is ready to have all the kids out of the house and his wife to himself, gives Anna the ultimatum of the baby or him. Not wanting to see her marriage end, she decides to get away by herself to think and doesn't tell anyone where she's going. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, as the cliche goes, and this holds true for Anna's family members, who see the error of their ways during her little hiatus.
Will they find her? Will she come home? Will she forgive them? Aaaahhhh!! The suspense!! Not really. It is pretty obvious that this movie is destined leave viewers with a warm, fuzzy feeling when it's over. But, that's OK. At least this is a show that isn't trying to be any more than what it is.
Anna, who's the kind of mom everybody wants, is smitten with her husband (even if Oates does portray him as largely an insensitive jerk) and crazy about her kids. She's also the kind of gal who appears to get her own way most of the time. In spite of this, she's a highly likeable character, Ms. Dewhurst plays her with great sensitivity and depth, and there's enough humor in the script to offset some of the trite and hopelessly sappy parts. The film raises some interesting issues and the characters rise above the usual cardboard cutouts on TV. A young Timothy Hutton definitely deserves an honorable mention as the kindhearted but somewhat offbeat youngest kid in the family.