10 May 1999 | JuBoo
The title of this made-for TV movie is nearly all the description the predictable film warrants. The story's main character receives an invitation to attend his 20th high school reunion, where he will no doubt be lovingly welcomed by all the jocks and old flames who once adored him.
Don Hollander (Kevin Dobson) is hesitant to attend his reunion until one night, while pouting about his mundane and unsatisfying life as a husband and father, he skims through his old yearbook and the pictures of his high school sweetheart. Knowing his wife has refused to accompany him to the planned festivities, Don envisions a touching and romantic liaison with the "girl that got away." Fueled by an overactive libido and a giant mid-life crisis, Don returns to his hometown for the reunion.
Waiting for him, of course, is Peggy Sager (Joanna Cassidy), former head cheerleader and high school sweetheart. Peggy, now divorced, has also dreamed of the day the two would meet again, and she fawns embarrassingly over him for the remainder of the film.
The old "gang" gathers at Peggy's house as they begin to assemble in town and bask in the stories of their lost youth. Peggy's teenage daughter Anne (Linda Hamilton), now the head cheerleader just like Mom, makes her appearance, and the old high school chums go on and on about Anne's amazing resemblance to her mother at the same age. The likeness is especially noted by Don. Once the viewer is sufficiently beaten over the head with this idea, and enough adoring glances are exchanged by Don and Anne, it becomes obvious what the film's dilemma will be.
Don, fully entrenched in the mid-life crisis that is making his family life hell, is finally face-to-face with the love of his life, and all the factors seem to be perfect for engaging in the physical affair they never had. The problem is that Don is trying desperately to feel young again, and the sight of Peggy in her aging state serves to remind him of his own decline. Her beautiful daughter Anne, however, is exactly the young, vibrant girl he longs to be with again (and the spitting image of her mother, remember?!).
So, Peggy longs for Don, Anne has a crush on Don and Don wants to experience his youth again. Now comes the suspense: Will he or won't he? If he does, with whom will it be?
If the cliche of an aging man trying to recapture his youth by cheating on his wife and fulfilling his sexual fantasies isn't enough, this film also dishes out another tired story. The balding, beer-bellied alumni and former state champion basketball team insist they be given the opportunity to prove themselves worthy opponents for the current squad of quick young jocks. And since Anne's boyfriend is the star of the team, Don has the perfect opportunity to challenge the clueless kid's manhood.
The storyline is cheesy and worn out, but there are some good performances. Linda Hamilton is still young in this one, but her potential is obvious here as a 24-year-old actress playing a teenager with a hearty crush. Considering some of the ridiculous dialogue she was given, Hamilton manages to make her character believable and almost likable.
Conchata Farrell, in a minor supporting role, gave a very natural, down-to-earth performance that lent her character an authenticity that the most of the others did not manage to attain. She makes it look easy!
While not a particularly entertaining movie, Reunion is worth watching if only to see how far Linda has come in her career!