Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of 'Diff'rent Strokes' (2006)

TV Movie   |  TV-14   |    |  Drama


Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of 'Diff'rent Strokes' (2006) Poster

The story of the popular situation comedy and its ill fated child stars.


5.5/10
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Director:

Robert Iscove

Writer:

Gregory K. Pincus

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22 December 2009 | stellbread
3
| A Bad Idea, Period
The no-name cast delivers so many clichés and such laughable dialogue, that it should be re-titled The Unintentionally Funny Story of Diff'rent Strokes.

Todd Bridges, Gary Coleman Coleman and the late Dana Plato were the three child stars who played the child and two adopted wards of Philip Drummond, played by Conrad Bain. The show was a hit in the 70's and made Coleman a star. Bridges and Coleman played adopted siblings Arnold and Willis, who reside in a lavish home with their benefactor, Drummond and his daughter, Kimberly (Plato).

After the shows run, the three young cast members experienced growing pains not uncommon among Hollywood child stars: Bridges became addicted to crack, then was arrested and tried on charges of attempted murder. Coleman wound up bankrupt after being ripped off by his parents, during which time he learned that Hollywood has no roles for twentysomething, undersized actors. Plato, however, was the most tragic case of all. After Strokes went off the air, she had a dozen movie and television appearances, none of which brought the sort of recognition the role of Kimberly Drummond had. The twenty-four year old fought a long battle with drugs and public ridicule after a botched liquor store hold-up, she died at age 35, on May 8, 1999. Her death was determined to be a suicide by overdose.

This schlock makes Purple Rain look like Mystic River. It features an even funnier—-and tragically so—-in story interviews with Bridges and Coleman. Lucky for Plato that she isn't around to see this mess, for she would no doubt die of shame.

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