My Last Love (TV Movie 1999) Poster

(1999 TV Movie)

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9/10
Who in the world expected it to be this good?
Jada Coy8 February 1999
My roommate and I were bored, and it was on. That is the sum total of why we watched. And okay, Scott Bairstow played a factor. But we really didn't expect much. And we were absolutely floored.

The story is of Susan, a woman in her late thirties/early forties suffering from cancer who moves with her daughter from Chicago to California because she wants to be close to home and her parents when she dies. She doesn't want her parents, loving but controlling people, raising her 11-year-old, Carson, but has no one else. In California, she meets Michael, a 26-year-old busboy with no goals who she takes to be a fluffy airhead. Much to her surprise, he turns out to be intelligent and, as she puts it, "has depth." After learning of her condition, Michael tries to run from the mother and daughter, but moves on to become an integral part of their lives, providing both with true love as Susan prepares to die.

These were honest-to-goodness three-dimensional characters, who grew and learned over the course of the movie. The emphasis was on people surviving difficult situations and growing beyond themselves. The one plot point that could have spiraled into maudlin triteness was the obligatory custody battle, but instead was turned into a chance for all concerned to grow as characters, and was handled more tastefully than any such situation handled on film in years.

I will say it again--I was floored by the honesty and truth in this made-for-TV movie.

Nancy Travis, Scott Bairstow and the girl that played the daughter give stunning performances. All are complex and multi-faceted and will truly surprise you.

Watch this movie. What could have been a sappy movie-of-the-week instead stands as a true work of film.
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10/10
True love forgives all
WileyJax12 March 1999
This is a beautiful life and love story of a single mother in her 30's, played by Nancy Travis (Three Men And A Baby, Vanishing), who is diagnosed with cancer. When Doctors tell her of her fate, she is faced with making a lifetime worth of memories with her only child, in just a few short months. She takes her daughter to live in a small town so she can spend time bonding with and loving her. When a free spirited, handsome, younger man, beautifully played by Scott Bairstow (Lonesome Dove, Party Of Five), comes into her life, she gets more than she bargained for. Falling in love is not in the rules... fortunately, sometimes rules are meant to be broken.

"My Last Love" is a life story about true love and a love story about true life. This movie, to me, showed that if you truly love someone nothing can take it from you. You can find your best friend and soulmate in anyone. Love knows no age. Love knows no illness. If you are fortunate enough to find it, grab onto it and hang on with everything you've got. Don't give it up for anyone. Five minutes of being really loved is worth whatever risks you have to take. True love lasts beyond a lifetime.

Superbly written, directed and acted, this tender story is a must-see for anyone who believes in love.
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tearjerker with a kick
trvwatson18 July 2003
Having watched this film, it's easy to categorize it into so many other storys of the same nature, but nobody came as close to sombody dying of cancer than, Nancy Travis, whata performance, all the characters were 1st class actors, and you could easly relate to the pain they were suffering, and at the end holding yourself together was so hard that in the end the tissues had to come out, the scene that got me, was when the rather selfish upper class mother, who you really couldn't warm to, finally broke at the end, and you could see the love and tears when she confessed how much she loved her daughter, who was lying on her death bed, try keeping it in, i tried but couldn't.
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8/10
A great made for TV movie!
Susie-163 February 1999
This is a great TV movie about a single mother who is dying of cancer. Scott Bairstow is especially convincing as Michael, and he gives the impression of an older brother. Jaime Renee Smith shows herself to be a very mature actress. She lightens up the film, and really makes you get to know her character. If this movie is playing again, I would encourage you to see it!
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6/10
Not 'Terms of Endearment'
MISSMOOHERSELF1 January 2005
Susan Morton (Nancy Travis) is an attorney and a single mother who learns she has cancer so she takes her daughter, Carson, age 9, back to California where she grew up and where her parents still live. While there, she meets and falls in love with Michael Blake (Scott Bairstow), a waiter. Later, after her young lover leaves her when she tells him she has cancer, she learns her disease is not responding. (Later, she finds out the cancer has spread to her brain and the inference is clear: the disease is terminal). Shortly after Michael leaves (we learn he lost his sister to cancer), Susan's precocious daughter finds him and convinces him to return to her mother, which he does.

Although the performances are above average, the things we see in this movie are disturbing and not for the obvious reasons of this being a "terminally-ill-mother disease of the week" movie. The daughter is a spoiled, precocious, angry child who is incredibly fresh to her mother. Granted, this was made in the late 1990s but even at my age, I would never think to speak to my mother or my grandparents the way this child speaks to her relatives. This really disturbed me and I did not and do not excuse it because the child's mother is dying.

Another disturbing thing is that this woman is living with a man who is neither her husband nor her daughter's father. Again, I realize this movie was made in the 1990s but a man and woman living together without being married but with a child in the house causes me some qualms.

Finally, there is the stereotypical "single mother vs. the old 'square' parents" (Susan's parents, played so well by character actors James Karen and Holland Taylor). Susan is a free-spirited professional woman who has had a couple of boyfriends after her divorce from Carson's father. Her parents, meanwhile, are portrayed as stuffed shirts who -- god forbid -- want their granddaughter to look like a feminine little girl instead of like a "member of a gang." Finally, Susan's parents want custody of Carson when Susan dies but instead, Susan sees to it her boyfriend gets custody. Maybe this is the "modern" thing to do but that doesn't make it right.

The last half hour of this movie is a little more universal - a dying woman asks her mother if she really loves her. This same woman then tells her daughter she is enough, to keep her heart open and to always be true. These are universal lessons and were told wonderfully in an incredible acting by However, we could have done without the modern morality tale and then it would have been worthy of being compared to "Terms of Endearment" or "Message from Holly."
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