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David Lewis is affected by the death of his wife Gillian, who fell from the mast pole of their boat on a sailing trip two years ago. David deals with his grief by continuing his romance with Gillian during walks with her ghost on the beach at night. While David lives in the past, other family problems crop up in the present in the real world. He neglects his teenage daughter Rachel and his in-laws come for a weekend visit to help her. Rachel has lost her mother and needs her father to snap back into the real world and help her. Written by
David Stumme <email@example.com>
David E. Kelley is a brilliant writer. The early episodes of Picket Fences & Chicago Hope, the later episodes of L.A. Law and just about every Practice & Ally McBeal ever made are examples of his great talent. The only problem he has is trying to convert that TV magic to the big screen. His movie scripts are enjoyable, but lack the energy and excitement of his great TV writing.
To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday deals with a man (Peter Gallagher) who loved his wife so much, he just can't let her go. The wife's ghost seems to appear to him on the beach and he spends hours talking to her while neglecting their teenaged daughter (Claire Danes). The dead wife is Michelle Pfieffer, the best-looking ghost I've ever seen in a movie! The tension between father and daughter grows and the arrival of Gillian's sister (Kathy Baker from Picket Fences) and her husband makes things even more tense.
This movie has a good cast who all give strong performances and there is a memorable scene with Claire Danes and Laurie Fortier in thong bikinis, but the movie is hurt by Kelley's weak script, which is not up to the level of quality we've come to expect from him.
13 of 15 people found this review helpful.
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