Not all stage plays translate well to screen. This is one of the most successful adaptations, partially because it embraces the stage conventions rather than trying artsy things to obscure them.
In a way, this is an update of STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE. A sensitive person comes into a household dominated by an alpha male. In STREETCAR, Blanche is destroyed. In LEMON SKY (which is set in the California of the late Fifties), you get the feeling that Alan has gone through something traumatic, but the Sixties are coming and Alan will find his place in a transformed society that will allow him to prevail.
I've talked to Lanford Wilson a little about this play and this adaptation. He had little to do with the film and expected not much and was thrilled with how well it turned out. Kevin Bacon is at the peak of his form here. I believe it was on this project that he met Kyra Sedgwick, whom he later married. I'm a great admirer of Lindsay Crouse, and the work here ranks with some of the best she's done.
By the by, I saw the original production in New York, and Alan was played by a very young and remarkable Christopher Walken.
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