Without luminous Vanessa Redgrave, this two-handkerchief, made-for-TV weeper would be just one step above a Harlequin romance. Having postponed attending college to care for his terminally ill mother, Michael Keddington (Chad
Willett) lays his mom to rest and obtains a job as a nurse's aide at a convalescent home. He feels fortunate to work for a sympathetic boss like Helen Staples (Mary McDonnell), even if the elderly patients aren't all perfect lambs. Jittery Henry McCord (Brock Peters) fusses about his medication and seems distraught whenever Michael’s co-worker, Alice (Lori Heuring), comes near him. The spoiled daughter of the head of state social services, Alice regards her job as a stepping stone to a career in hospital management. Popular with his patients, Michael coaxes the prickly Esther Huish (Redgrave) out of her shell. When Michael visits Esther with his girlfriend Faye Murrow (Marguerite Moreau), Esther senses the couple’s devotion. But Faye's father secures Michael's promise that he'll bow out of her life so Faye can focus on medical school in Los Angeles. Hoping to change Michael’s mind, Esther relates the story behind the photo in her locket. Esther endured life with one abusive husband and was reticent when fate handed her a second chance at happiness with a Korean War soldier, Thomas (Jonathan Frappier). As Esther prompts Michael to hold onto Faye and forgive his estranged father, Casey (Terry O'Quinn), Michael faces the more immediate challenge of a police investigation into Henry’s beating death. A guilty Faye has framed Michael to cover up her trafficking in illegal painkillers and the fact that she accidentally killed Henry. Drawing strength from Esther, Michael fights back but clearing his name, setting Faye free and then winning her back is a tall order. Even in Richard Paul Evans' original book, the crime fillip is more than this touching story of the redemption of an old sourpuss and her young caregiver needs. In the novel, screenwriter Ron Raley should have jettisoned the homicide subplot and focused on how sympathetic
souls can bridge an age gap and form surrogate families.
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- Released: 2003
- Rating: NR
- Review: Without luminous Vanessa Redgrave, this two-handkerchief, made-for-TV weeper would be just one step above a Harlequin romance. Having postponed attending college to care for his terminally ill mother, Michael Keddington (Chad Willett) lays his mom to rest… (more)