Letting Go

  • 1985
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Comedy, Drama, Romance

The bubbling chemistry between Sharon Gless and John Ritter (way back when they were romantic leads rather than character actors) give this touchy-feely romance an endearing spark. Schoolteacher Kate Marshall (Gless) is blissfully committed to her relationship with TV commercial producer Neil (Cortese), so she's broadsided when he announces that he's...read more

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Reviewed by Robert Pardi
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The bubbling chemistry between Sharon Gless and John Ritter (way back when they were romantic leads rather than character actors) give this touchy-feely romance an endearing spark.

Schoolteacher Kate Marshall (Gless) is blissfully committed to her relationship

with TV commercial producer Neil (Cortese), so she's broadsided when he announces that he's leaving her for a younger woman. Single father Alex Schuster (John Ritter) has been walloped by darker tragedy: His wife a year ago in a plane crash, and he's still having trouble coping. Progressive therapist Dr. Rudnick (Max Gail) takes the position that all emotional losses, large and small, are valid subjects for treatment, which is how Kate and Alex wind up in the same support group. Kate digs into her assignments enthusiastically, but Alex resists the healing process — he's unwilling to box up his wife’s belongings because he's afraid of betraying his blissful memories. Only after Rudnick pairs him up with Kate is Alex finally able to take some tentative steps towards facing his future. During an exercise in which the patient-teams

search for the one thing that most reminds them of their loved one, Kate realizes that she mistakenly keeps spotting Neil in every checkered cab. Just as Alex helps Kate put her neediness into perspective, Kate also speeds up his recovery by accompanying him on a shuttle flight; Alex hasn’t been able to get on a plane since his wife’s deaths. With several healing tasks accomplished, Kate and Alex both realize they have feelings for each other that go beyond the boundaries of therapy. But they're also both afraid of intimacy, so when Neil comes home begging forgiveness, Kate considers giving him another chance. Will Alex move on too, or will they both take off their blinders and embrace what they’ve found with each other.

The 1980s were rife with workshop programs like EST and Self-Actualization, and this exercise in "I’m OK; You’re OK" healing was inspired by Dr. Zev Wanderer & Tracy Cabot's 1987 Letting Go: A 12-Week Personal Action Program to Overcome a Broken Heart. The psychobabble is dated, but Gless and Ritter’s performances remain incandescent and if you watch closely you can spot Keanu Reeves in a bit part.

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  • Released: 1985
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: The bubbling chemistry between Sharon Gless and John Ritter (way back when they were romantic leads rather than character actors) give this touchy-feely romance an endearing spark. Schoolteacher Kate Marshall (Gless) is blissfully committed to her relat… (more)

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