11 April 2000 | emmet-2
As good as it gets
I happened to drop in on this movie on a cable-TV-channel the other day, and found myself actually liking what I initially thought would be another boring, made-for-TV sob story. The film is set in a lemon grove in California, where the Hackett family struggles to make ends meet while they're fighting in between themselves because of different dreams and aspirations. The oldest son, Mickey, is tired of life on the grove and dreams only of getting out and away from it all. Michael, the father, is hell-bent on hanging on to his legacy, and ignores the warning signs of his family falling apart. On top of everything, Michael's long-lost father suddenly returns after being away almost 30 years, and the relationship between them is anything but loving. Michael's wife, Elizabeth, and the youngest son, Tyler, are trying to hold everything together, but when the prospect of a dangerous disease on the lemon trees looms, it all suddenly seems impossible.
This is a really feel-good movie, which I found to be both touching and sincere. JoBeth Williams gives (another) excellent performance as Elizabeth, and the dance scene between her and the crop inspector, Davis, is electrical. The song they're dancing to, "For A Love Like You" was actually nominated for an Emmy that year. For a TV movie, this is about as good as it gets. I'll give it a 5 out of 6 on my dice.