29 October 2003 | Vibiana
I saw this film when it originally premiered on television
It stayed with me all these years, perhaps because of the poignancy of its heroine's situation. Sharon is a cheer leader, pretty and popular, with loving parents and a beautiful home and all the advantages that go with it. However, she sees her older sister, who was also a cheer leader in her younger days, now married and mothering in her twenties, already slotted into the narrow suburban housewife life that their mother planned for her, and perhaps Sharon feels a little helpless.
Her mother seems singularly uninterested in her daughter's doubts and fears, at one point even telling Sharon, "You have no right to be unhappy!" Not surprisingly in view of her lack of support from home, Sharon's grief implodes, resulting in a suicide attempt. She meets a young man, Jeff, in the hospital where she is sent for observation and strikes up a friendship with him that eventually results in further grief for her. Sharon also must deal with the variety of reactions she elicits from friends and family after her suicide attempt.
I was fourteen when this film was first aired, and I was certainly no cheer leader type. I was a fat, nerdy kid who figured all the cheer leader types had it made -- popular, pretty, had all the boys interested in them, etc. This film forced me to realize that things really are tough all over sometimes. Since TV movies are so rarely aired anymore except on cable, I don't imagine this one has gotten much exposure.