Poor but proud, Mrs. Martin (Helen Shaver) tries to instill hope into her teenaged son Justin (Dylan Provencher), middle daughter Kate (Kristin Fairlie) and youngest son Chip (Marc Donato). As the bank threatens foreclosure on their home, Mrs. Martin spends less time with her kids, who begin visiting the homestead of the Wilsons, their Afro-American neighbors. In the comforting environment of the Wilson home, Justin gets baseball tips from the Wilson's visiting son Booker (Maurice Dean Wint), Chip befriends the Wilson's grandchild Luther (Brent Meyer), and Kate starts a small-time candy business with Ruby (Tisha Campbell), Luther's tough-talking mom. Unfortunately, Kate and Ruby's partnership raises eyebrows in a Southern town still rife with unspoken prejudices, and when the women accept a ride from a Black biker, Mrs. Martin over-reacts to neighborhood gossip. Unable to stifle her growing resentment over the Wilson's closeness to her latchkey children, Mrs. Martin lashes out at her neighbors. Can these two families set aside misconceptions and face this dilemma not as racial foes, but as people with a bond of common humanity? Without pushing its topical issues, this bittersweet yet gentle drama explores the grinding effects of poverty and the insidious effects of stereotyping, offering a mellow plea for tolerance. As the two matriarchs, Carroll and Shaver are equally impressive, and although one could fault Rosa Jordan's no-frills screenplay for resolving its crises too cleanly, the manner in which her characters blossom before our very eyes is highly credible; we see how their self-knowledge is attained through hard-earned experience, rather than having it merely foisted upon them. Teaching us that lack of money shouldn't preclude an abundance of empathy, this warmhearted family fare is a sweet gift, indeed.
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- Released: 1999
- Rating: NR
- Review: Poor but proud, Mrs. Martin (Helen Shaver) tries to instill hope into her teenaged son Justin (Dylan Provencher), middle daughter Kate (Kristin Fairlie) and youngest son Chip (Marc Donato). As the bank threatens foreclosure on their home, Mrs. Martin spend… (more)