The Tic Code

"Write what you know," they always say, and actress-turned-scripter and producer Polly Draper (thirtysomething) clearly took this advice to heart. Draper's earnest family drama, which debuted on cable in 1998, involves jazz musicians and the neurological disorder Tourette's syndrome; her husband, jazz musician Michael Wolff (The Arsenio Hall Show), has...read more

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"Write what you know," they always say, and actress-turned-scripter and producer Polly Draper (thirtysomething) clearly took this advice to heart. Draper's earnest family drama, which debuted on cable in 1998, involves jazz musicians and the

neurological disorder Tourette's syndrome; her husband, jazz musician Michael Wolff (The Arsenio Hall Show), has a mild form of the condition. Twelve-year-old Miles (Christopher George Marquette), who lives in a cramped Greenwich Village apartment with his struggling divorced mother, Laura

(Draper), is a piano prodigy with a passionate love for jazz. He also suffers from Tourette's, which produces twitches, tics, odd sounds and verbal outbursts, though not uncontrollable cursing, the stereotypical symptom most people associate with the condition. Laura is supportive, but his

estranged father, a jazz musician who's made a fortune in Hollywood, isn't, so Miles aches for a sympathetic father figure. Enter Tyrone (Gregory Hines), a world-famous jazz saxophonist who also has Tourette's; he befriends Miles and begins dating Laura, but the pressure of dealing with Miles's

condition, Laura's fierce devotion to her child and his own ambivalence about living with the disorder nearly destroys their relationship. Only a truly horrible person would fault Draper for wanting to educate people about Tourette's Syndrome, whose sufferers are often cruelly dismissed as

neurotic or too lazy to control their distracting mannerisms. So let it be said that her intentions are laudable, but the movie that contains them is preachy and predictable, an afterschool special in all but name. It features cameo appearances by Bill Nunn, Tony Shaloub, Fisher Stevens, David

Johansen, Camryn Manheim and Carol Kane, as well as jazz musicians Dick Berk, Carlos McKinney and John B. Williams.

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  • Released: 2000
  • Rating: R
  • Review: "Write what you know," they always say, and actress-turned-scripter and producer Polly Draper (thirtysomething) clearly took this advice to heart. Draper's earnest family drama, which debuted on cable in 1998, involves jazz musicians and the neurological… (more)

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