Estranged since their father's first stroke some 17 years earlier, Lee and Bessie lead separate lives in separate states. Lee's son, Hank, finds himself committed to a mental institution after setting fire to his mother's house. His younger brother, Charlie, seems unfazed by his brother's eccentricities or his mother's seeming disinterest. When Lee comes to the asylum to spring Hank for a week in Florida so that he can be tested as a possible bone marrow donor for Bessie, Hank is incredulous. "I didn't even know you had a sister," he says. "Remember, every Christmas, when I used to say 'Well, looks like Aunt Bessie didn't send us a card again this year?'" "Oh yeah," Hank says. Meanwhile, Marvin, the two women's bedridden father, has "been dying for the past twenty years." "He's doing it real slow so I don't miss anything," Bessie tells Dr. Wally. In Bessie's regular doctor's absence, it has fallen to Dr. Wally to inform Bessie that she has leukemia and will die without a bone marrow ... Written by
Mark Fleetwood <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Hume Cronyn's final appearance in a theatrical film. See more »
Bessie's left hand jumps from next to Marvin to his chest as she smacks the bed with her right hand. See more »
Uh, Janine, I wonder if you could tell me how long I might have to wait, because I left Aunt Ruth at home in charge of dad, and...
You'll have to see Doctor Wally, because Doctor Serrot is on vacation.
[finishes typing "I quit" letter]
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The producers wish to thank ... the staff and guests of Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom, Orlando Florida, ... the residents and staff of The Florida Manor Nursing Home ... See more »
This stage to screen adaptation about two estranged sisters attempting a reconciliation after one is diagnosed with cancer is sentimental to the extreme, manipulative beyond forgiveness.....and had me close to blubbering like a baby by the time it was over.
Chalk it up to the fact that I had recently lost a grandmother to cancer, but this film nearly devastated me even as I was mad that it was so maudlin. The fact that it works as well as it does is due largely to the fact that such good actors are cast in it. Meryl Streep and Diane Keaton play the sisters (Keaton is the ill one), and while it would never have occurred to me to put these two actresses together, the decision was inspired. And right before he rocketed to international fame, Leonardo DiCaprio does strong work as Keaton's troubled nephew.
I won't even try to defend this film against those who say it's too schmaltzy to bear, but please let the rest of us enjoy it in blubbery peace.
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