4 February 2019 | freydis-e
Good for its genre and has Reese Witherspoon!
This is a typical made-for-TV heart-render, low budget, patchy acting and the story generally nothing that original. Let's take a family problem and do it by the usual numbers. Not my kind of thing and I watched it only because these film-makers lucked out by casting one of the best actors around, sixteen year old Reese in one of her earliest roles.
Two things are good here and they're very good. Reese was amazing even back then, lighting up every scene she's in, and that's most of them, delivering a masterclass to the more experienced folk around her - always totally believable and creating a character to really care about. The other one: here is a story with no bad guy, not even a selfish guy. Everyone is trying to look out for everyone else and yet 'the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune' can still manage to tear them apart.
Bad things. Stuff was missing. Other reviewers have complained about the ending and this is one where viewers are left to pick their own. I didn't mind that but I didn't like that the brother's opinion is never sought or listened to - only discovered by accident. Yes, he's a little kid, he can't make the decision, but that shouldn't mean no-one cares what he thinks. A conversation is missing between Cassie and Mel - they are natural allies here and this would go a long way to mitigating Mel's blind stubbornness. Finally there's no apology from Mel for that stubbornness, which has put Cassie at greater risk.
If you like this kind of film at all, watch this one - Reese Witherspoon alone makes it outstanding for its genre.