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Ruth Steiner
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Lisa Morrison
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16 January 2002 (USA)  »

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Ruth Steiner: [Critiquing Lisa's writing style, with a smirk on her face] 'fabulous green water balloons'?
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Two great actresses square off in a debate about family, fairness and choices
4 May 2002 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

Linda Lavin is the mentor and Samantha Mathis is the student in this two person stage play adapted for the small screen. Mathis is nervously in awe of Lavin's author at the start, but as the piece moves on, we see both writers growing to care about each other over the years, Lavin seeing her pupil as the daughter she never had, and Mathis growing as a writer, soon to overshadow her teacher.

The crux of the plot happens when Lavin confides in Mathis a story about a previous lover, a mentor she had, and the affair that they began in the 1950s. Mathis takes the tale and makes it her own, writing her first novel based on it. The questions of trusting someone as a family member and what is fair game to tell as "your story" serves as the heart of the film.

Two brilliant and convincing performances are turned in by the two actors, and there are both some riveting and humorous moments between them.


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