The Twilight Of The Golds

  • 1997
  • Movie
  • R
  • Drama

Big subjects, pat presentation. Originally aired on Showtime earlier this year and adapted from the Off-Broadway play by coscreenwriter Jonathan Tolins, this relentlessly middlebrow drama places young marrieds Suzanne and Rob Stein (Jennifer Beals and Jon Tenney) on the horns of a hot-button dilemma. Rob is a geneticist -- "Medical experiments!" wails his...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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Big subjects, pat presentation. Originally aired on Showtime earlier this year and adapted from the Off-Broadway play by coscreenwriter Jonathan Tolins, this relentlessly middlebrow drama places young marrieds Suzanne and Rob Stein (Jennifer Beals and

Jon Tenney) on the horns of a hot-button dilemma. Rob is a geneticist -- "Medical experiments!" wails his elderly father, a Holocaust survivor -- who persuades his pregnant wife to undergo a series of tests; they determine that their unborn son stands a 90 percent chance of being born gay, like

her opera-loving brother David (Brendan Fraser). What should be done with this piece of information? Everyone has an opinion, notably Suzanne's prosperous, bourgeois parents, Phyllis and Walter Gold (Faye Dunaway and Garry Marshall), and David and his lover (Sean O'Bryan). You certainly can't

fault the production for asking hard questions about the implications of across-the-board, prenatal genetic testing (which, coincidentally, lead nicely into the questions about genetic manipulation posed by GATTACA), but they'd be a lot more provocative if they weren't couched in the

psychology-lesson language of very special TV sitcom episodes. Fraser and Marshall invest their broadly written roles with remarkable depth, while Dunaway's fluttering pretensions to yenta-ism -- "You're so thin -- Eat, eat!" -- are singularly unconvincing. An unbilled Jack Klugman

is unrecognizable as Rob's unyielding orthodox dad. In the end, matters come to a disappointingly banal conclusion that's all too reminiscent of those insidious, late-night "Life: What a beautiful choice" ads.

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  • Released: 1997
  • Rating: R
  • Review: Big subjects, pat presentation. Originally aired on Showtime earlier this year and adapted from the Off-Broadway play by coscreenwriter Jonathan Tolins, this relentlessly middlebrow drama places young marrieds Suzanne and Rob Stein (Jennifer Beals and Jon… (more)

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