A hip, 25-year-old New York editor is about to return to her midwestern hometown, steeled for a visit with her larger-than-life über-mom, and steadfast in her commitment to avoiding a staid... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
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Amy Holbeck
...
Glenda Holbeck
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Bill Holbeck
Nancy Banks ...
Jullian Kramer
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Ben Glazer
Edward Nahhat ...
Craig Kramer
Trudy Mason ...
Dee Rosen
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jessica Sloane Abrams ...
(Older) Young Amy
Hallie Burns ...
Young Amy
Gayle Burstein ...
Lunching Lady (Sheila)
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Wendy Jacobs-Rubin
Shannon Cole ...
Locker Room Lady
Jaye Cooper ...
Country Club Woman
Sandra Dembs ...
Lunching Lady (Dottie)
Dana Gamarra ...
Mike The Manager
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A hip, 25-year-old New York editor is about to return to her midwestern hometown, steeled for a visit with her larger-than-life über-mom, and steadfast in her commitment to avoiding a staid family life of husband and 2.5 children by age 29. That is until her boyfriend turns up by surprise, and sets in motion a chain of events that will cause her to see past her mother's facade of designer clothes and country club lunches to the pain of a woman caught in a rocky marriage, and give her mother an understanding of the life she equipped her daughter to choose. Written by Anonymous

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Drama | Comedy | Romance

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17 January 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Marriage Material  »

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aka Marriage material
5 October 2001 | by (Sydney, Australia) – See all my reviews

Writer director Jody Podolsky's Hallmark drama is an unbearable mess, dedicated to her mother and "all who mother". We begin with Alanna Ubach as a New York book publisher going home to the unspecified fall suburbs for Yom Kippur. Ubach being Jewish allows Podolsky to present cartoon stereotypes of Jews as shallow and materialistic, who even talk over the rabbi in temple when he speaks of the "permissiveness of difference", something you would think Jews know a lot about. It doesn't help that Podolsky thrusts these people at us, with comic cutting and appropriately bad music by Andrew Hollander. Presumably Ubach is meant to feel superior to her family, though the weakness in this is that Ubach fails to supply any charisma to her role, and Podolsky doesn't help by giving her wretchedly written scenes of arguments with her boyfriend, Michael B Silver eg "He: Relax. She: Don't enforce passivity". So this unbalance of perspective throws the tone askew, though thankfully the narrative refocuses onto Lesley Ann Warren as Ubach's mother. Granted that LAW is not the Jewish mother type, she has the best scene in the film, after tense behaviour with her husband James Rebhorn, and blue lit flashbacks that reveal nothing. She reacts to news of a friend's illness by breaking down, with Podolsky giving her an unbroken long take. However soon we're back to Ubach and a doubly long scene between mother and daughter that is as wretched and pointless as those between Ubach and Silver. If Podolsky's disservice to the actors isn't enough, her editing in general is heavy handed, and she even supplies a reflective-memory montage like a trailer of her own movie, in the movie!


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