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Losing Chase Reviews

Actor Kevin Bacon plays it a little too safe in his directorial debut, assembling a foolproof cast (including his wife, Kyra Sedgwick), undeniably picturesque Martha's Vineyard locations and a frustratingly unadventurous script. Helen Mirren stars as Chase Philips, an unhappy, middle-aged wife and mother who, after staging a spectacular nervous breakdown atop a storm-swept lighthouse, has sunk into a paralyzing depression. Husband Richard (Beau Bridges) hires the winsome Elizabeth (Sedgwick) to work as a mother's helper while Chase gets back on her feet, but all Chase wants to do is degrade her young hireling. A few sparks fly during these early scenes: Mirren hurls abuse with relish, and Sedgwick plays an unusually convincing stoic. But, inevitably, the two women bond -- there's mental illness in Elizabeth's family, so they've got something in common -- and as Chase's new found admiration for Elizabeth takes on an increasingly sexual cast, the burden of keeping viewers engaged falls ever more heavily on the players, who get precious little help from the underdeveloped script. The answers to some key questions are only hinted at -- to begin with, what exactly is the matter with Chase? -- and her late blooming passion is so clumsily handled, the whole thing begins to resemble some ill-conceived retelling of THE CHILDREN'S HOUR.