An Unexpected Life

  • 1999
  • 1 HR 30 MIN
  • PG
  • Drama

Histrionic charm compensated for cliched plot in AN UNEXPECTED FAMILY (1998), and this made-for-cable sequel delivers more of the same. Die-hard city gal Barbara Whitney (Stockard Channing) and her artist boyfriend, Sam Sadwich (Stephen Collins), relocate to the country where Barbara hopes to raise the nephew and niece — Matt (Noah Fleiss) and Megan...read more

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Reviewed by Robert Pardi
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Histrionic charm compensated for cliched plot in AN UNEXPECTED FAMILY (1998), and this made-for-cable sequel delivers more of the same. Die-hard city gal Barbara Whitney (Stockard Channing) and her artist boyfriend, Sam Sadwich (Stephen Collins), relocate to the country where Barbara hopes to raise the nephew and niece — Matt (Noah Fleiss) and Megan (Chelsea Russo) — whose custody she's been awarded. Trouble arises when their real mother, Barbara's irresponsible sister, Ruth (Christine Ebersole), starts spending more time with her kids and promises to provide a secure home for them someday. Barbara, meanwhile, learns that she's pregnant and because she's in her 40s considers having an abortion. Sam's determination to become a father persuades her to have the baby, but she has trouble bonding with the infant. On top of all the other stressed they're facing, Sam must deal with a visit from his imposing mother, Lucinda (Elaine Stritch), with whom he's always had an emotionally distant relationship. Sam and Barbara eventually decide to wed and provide a secure foundation for their unexpected family's future. An appealing, high-class soap opera that comforts viewers with homey truisms, this sensitive film sometimes rises above the level of the average made-for-cable weepie by virtue of its estimable cast.

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  • Released: 1999
  • Rating: PG
  • Review: Histrionic charm compensated for cliched plot in AN UNEXPECTED FAMILY (1998), and this made-for-cable sequel delivers more of the same. Die-hard city gal Barbara Whitney (Stockard Channing) and her artist boyfriend, Sam Sadwich (Stephen Collins), relocate… (more)

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