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Jay R. Ferguson
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Sad little drama plays fair with audience expectations
Aspect ratio: 1.33:1
Sound format: Mono
A middle-class family is devastated when the eldest son (Peter Facinelli) commits suicide for no apparent reason.
Sad little TV drama, an acting showcase for Meredith Baxter as the hard-working mom whose life is turned upside down by her son's unexpected death. Struggling to keep her family together in the midst of tragedy (husband Bruce Davison is a basket case, and the remaining children - Ryan Slater and Mae Whitman - are too young to grasp the enormity of the situation), she fails to grieve properly, leading to all manner of emotional complications. Director Glenn Jordan - an old hand at this sort of thing - makes the most of Judith Fein's routine script (co-written with Cynthia Saunders), which provides no conclusive explanation for the inexplicable sadness that drives Facinelli to desperate measures; the suicide sequence itself is a heartbreaker. See also Piers Haggard's SURVIVING (1985), which explores similar territory with greater dramatic success.
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