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Another sterling performance by young Mackenzie Phillips...
Even in her earliest performances ("Go Ask Alice" and "American Graffiti"), Mackenzie Phillips projected such a wise, knowing sense of herself that most young adults could instantly identify with her angst. In this rather ordinary TV movie concerning the begrudging friendship between a street urchin and an elderly man, Phillips (in hooker hats and kooky clothes) gives a thoughtful, sensitive portrayal, managing to turn this stale plot around and maybe even make it mean something. Martin Balsam is certainly her acting equal, but I'm not sure how convincing his character is (as written) or, indeed, if anyone his age, in his position would take so much time to reach a belligerent young woman. Low-budget and not especially memorable, the film was just a holding pattern for Phillips, a cautionary tale that might've been shown in high schools, but she gives it some resonance.
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