19 July 2005 | rsoonsa
An Uncommon Subject For A Romantic Story.
Joel Rice, who describes himself as a "social worker/producer" is credited for several interesting films that rub against problems of people having learning difficulties, and in this item made for television, reportedly based upon actual events, the theme is decidedly unusual, a romantic affair absorbing a man with such difficulties and a woman without. Robbie Smith (Treat Williams) is scorned and carelessly harassed by people in his Kansas home town but is loved by his parents with whom he lives, and by his brother. Despite his mental slowness, Robbie has been accepted as merely a local oddity, a status that is capsized when Rose Parks (Kelly McGillis), a divorcée with a sordid past meets him, their comfortable beginning friendship turning into something stronger as the censure of those about them serves to refill their shared desire to be together. The relationship between evidently mismatched lovers is not effectively developed, little but melodrama filling the scenario, a notable scripting weakness being Robbie's plainly non-discriminatory feelings of affection to others while simultaneously being romantically obsessed with Rose, but a strong element of the film is its emphasis upon the struggles of those involved in their dealings with a non-compassionate officialdom. There are no true villains in this piece shot in Ontario with acts of reconcilement amid the principals lacking conviction, as does Williams in general although he works very hard at creating his part, with McGillis earning acting honours for her full-blooded performance as a woman seeking another chance, while other capable turns in an intriguingly cast production come from Steve Railsback as Robbie's protective older brother, Gordon Pinsent playing Rose's father, and Colin Fox as a judgemental doctor who instigates the primary set of problems for the lovelorn pair.