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Something in Common (1986)

TV Movie  -   -  Drama | Romance  -  2 November 1986 (USA)
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A young man and a nice woman in her forties fall in love. His mother goes berserk when he tells her about it and when the girlfriend comes to meet the mother, she wants to jump out of her skin. Accepting her son's choice won't be easy.



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Title: Something in Common (TV Movie 1986)

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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lynn Hollander
Shelly Grant
Nick Hollander
Don Murray ...
Theo Fontana
Norman Voss
Laura Grant
Kenneth Kimmins ...
Eugene Skerritt
Marc Poppel ...
Stephen Hollander
Terri Treas ...
Nancy Webster
Gertrude Flynn ...
Aunt Celia
George Petrie ...
Uncle Louie
Aunt Rose
Anita Dangler ...
Barbara Slater
Douglas Emerson ...
Jason Grant
Wealthy Woman


A young man and a nice woman in her forties fall in love. His mother goes berserk when he tells her about it and when the girlfriend comes to meet the mother, she wants to jump out of her skin. Accepting her son's choice won't be easy.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance





Release Date:

2 November 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Love 40  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Pleasantly Natured, Its Principal Merit Provided By The Cast.
6 January 2006 | by (Mountain Mesa, California) – See all my reviews

Essentially a soap opera, this formulary comedy drama made for television offers most of that medium's hackneyed elements, but the film moves along briskly due to the strong acting skills of its featured female players. Nick Hollander ( Patrick Cassidy), a 22 year old freshly graduated from college and now attending a cooking academy, resides with his widowed mother Lynn (Ellen Burstyn), an editor with a publishing house and, as the plot develops, it reminds a viewer of stretchout episodes from a TV series, only canned laughter missing among the familiar devices that make up the crust of the storyline. Nick and a classmate of 42 years, newly divorced Shelly Grant (Tuesday Weld), fall in love and the age disparity between them and how families and friends of each react to their affair forms the core of a film that is largely tailored for Burstyn, whose character is an overly possessive and sexually repressed mother wanting to keep her son at home instead of permitting the young man to leave her nest and oversight. The well-selected players approach the film's frivolities with a good deal of intensity and style, Burstyn, a consummate actress, displaying impeccable timing, her rather jejune lines perfectly delivered as the relationship between Lynn and Shelly becomes the most significant element in the story. A cardinal subplot depicts a reluctant attempt made by Lynn to strip away long continuing feelings of loss resulting from her husband's death six years earlier, encouraged by a work related trip to Los Angeles where she serves as copy editor for a book being completed by one of her company's best-selling authors, a pop sex therapist performed by Don Murray, with a less than convincing turn. This is a well-produced affair, the cast giving its all, although Burstyn tends to mug overmuch at times, with Weld gaining the acting laurels here as she credibly creates her role, giving Shelly a true flavour of an emotionally vulnerable woman. With few retakes, veteran television director Glenn Jordan uses setups and blocking to good effect, this trenchantly designed and costumed work also benefiting hugely from the crisp editing of Paul Rubell and capable cinematography of Kees Van Oostrum, while one must acknowledge correctly descriptive scoring by John Addison. This is a film wherein dialogue delivery is critical and an oft trite screenplay is improved by the performances of Weld and Burstyn. The latter is frequently quite hilarious during the work's first half, giving it a cachet above its situation comedy pedigree, and while a viewer will readily recognize when sequences are about to give way for commercial breaks, there will also be an expectation that somehow everything will come out well in the end for all involved.

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