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12 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

The Book of Ruth- Excellent: Story of Immaturity, Lust and Violence ****

9/10
Author: edwagreen from United States
29 March 2009

This was a terrific film dealing with a teenage girl, verbally abused continuously by a mother, who drove 2 men out of her own life.

Christine Lahti gives an absolutely fabulous performance as the mother who always comes up with a line to put down her n'eer-do-well son-in-law.

When her simpleton daughter marries this pill popping, lazy fellow, all he takes is the constant verbal abuse by his mother-in-law. Nothing remedies the situation, even the birth of a grandchild adds to the woes of the family.

This is a perfect example that comedians would use to describe life with a mother-in-law. Obviously, this is not funny here and the story invariably turns tragic.

This is a tale of what the lack of education and maturity can lead to.

I highly recommend this film.

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8 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Excellent

Author: Miles-10 from United States
27 June 2004

I can only top Kaagaard's regret by saying I wish I had recorded the second hour. I recorded and saw the first hour of this excellent story, but I have not seen the ending; so I don't know how it comes out. I can only wait for reruns or for it to come out on video--which I suspect and hope that it will. (Third alternative: it's based on a novel so I could find and read it.)

Kaagaard is right about the acting, though I would add that I was watching the competition between Christine Lahti and Nicholle Tom to see which one was going to out-act the other, and it was close. I liked that you could sympathize with both mother and daughter and at the same time feel that they were both obviously wrong about some things.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

It's more like the Book of Job to me.

6/10
Author: sol from Brooklyn NY USA
29 March 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

***SPOILERS*** Life has never been easy for Ruth Gray, Nicholle Tom, who was brought up by her single mom Maylene, Christine Lahti, after her drunken husband Willard checked out on her. Ruth also lived in the shadows of her genius older brother Matt, Billy Wickman,the very first student graduating from Honey Creek High to be accepted in MIT. It was destined for Ruth to be a just plain Jane type and not make any big waves in life until she met her future husband Ruby, Even Jones, who swept her off her feet with his very earthy and crud personality.

Always acting childish and never trying to get a decent job to support Ruth and later the couple's child Justy Ruby really started to get under Maylene's skin by being behind in the rent with his wife Ruth doing all the heavy lifting,in working together with her mom at the Nice "N Tidy Drycleaners laundry, while he just stayed in the house drinking beer and building bird houses! It was at the dinner table that Ruby really showed just how uncouth and irritating he is by purposely letting off gas,flatulence, that just about killed everyone's appetite including little Justy sitting there!

Always looking for a way out not to work for a living Ruby after getting a job, with both Ruth & Maylene's help, at the Nice "N Tidy Drycleaners got himself good and stoned on pills that he staggered out on the street to get some air and was hit by a car whom he, by not looking where he was going, stepped in front of! Back at home making a complete jerk of himself Ruby's anti social behavior started to get so out of hand that Maylene was just about forced to throw him out together with her daughter Ruth, and even grandchild Justy, who refused to let go of him!

***MAJOR SPOILERS*** We already knew what happened at the Gray House when the movie started with a battered and bruised Ruth being interrogated by the police but it takes the entire film,in a number of flashbacks, to get to the bottom of what really happened there. Ruby it's later learned confessed to the brutal beating and murder of his mother-in-law Maylene thus exonerating the totally innocent Ruth in her death! Ruby was an obvious time bomb just waiting to explode and it was both Maylene and Ruth putting up with his off the wall actions and not getting him help in controlling his violent temper that in the end lead to the slaughter we first get to see in the film!

As for Ruby himself he finally came to his senses but only after murdering someone. But now instead of being forced to take a number of anger management classes he's facing life behind bars with no chance of parole!

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A dysfunctional mother and daughter torment each other.

1/10
Author: jeannel2003-618-511281 from United States
31 January 2010

This is a comment rather than a review. The description on this title is misleading, i.e.,: "Tensions arise when a newlywed has her husband move into the house of her verbally abusive mother."

Although the mother has many emotional and mental issues and clearly has mistreated her daughter, the daughter has similar issues and marries a rock-bottom loser, who moves in with the mother, allows her to support them and verbally abuses the mother. The mother is appropriately shocked at her daughter's choice in a husband and shows more compassion and patience by tolerating their obnoxious behavior as they take advantage of her. In my view, this is a most unpleasant movie. I have not watched all of it, but I hope the mother and daughter can come to some resolution of their mental disorders and their relationship with each other. The acting is fine, it's just not a story that appeals to me.

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Truly touching and compelling

Author: stribdogg07 from Bryan, Texas
4 May 2004

This movie teaches the great importance of finding ones self and making your own way. It shows how much someone can influence you and how you may not see that influence until they are gone. Christine Lahti is fabulous in this. She portrays a cold hearted widow that takes out her pain and past mistakes on her soft spoken daughter Ruth played by Nicolle Tom. Nicolle also does a great job, very different from Maggie she played on The Nanny.She is very deep and emotional, not typical of her previous roles. I hope to see her in more films soon. I really enjoyed this movie. One to watch with your mom, after seeing Maylene you might really appreciate yours! I hope they show this one again soon!

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6 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Intelligent, but more negative than positive, thought out

Author: mgjbtig from Minneapolis, Minnesota
3 May 2004

I just saw this movie last evening. I have the following problem with the ending. No effort was made at any time to stop the abuse toward the young man which I believe drove him further towards abuse than away from it. There appeared to be no intervention to help stop the drinking or the drugs, only criticism. There were only negative reactions to his actions from others, other than from his young wife. What bothered me is that the emphasis at the ending was towards the young wife remembering positively some of the actions of the mother towards her as she 1) owns the home, 2) gets to go live with her very wealthy aunt,3) gets to keep the baby. There is never any indication of how the young man will be treated, will he be visited, allowed to see his son, etc. I think men are not protrayed very well at all in this film, and I am not sure that women are either. That's the end of my comments.

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9 out of 28 people found the following review useful:

A bit depressing, but very well acted and a bright glimmer in the end

1/10
Author: steflondon88 from Vancouver, bc
3 May 2004

This movie is defintley for tv, but it was acted superbly. The mom makes it easy for you to hate her. Nicholle who plays Ruth, i was surprised she took this role. I guess she wants to take on bigger movies and bigger roles, and producers can see her acting abilities. i remember seeing her only on "the nanny" and "beethoven". Well, its worth watching this movie...but i should warn u... can u say depressing. but something about it makes u stay watching. just like about every other tv movie iv'e watched. ok theyre telling me i need more then 10 lines so ill go on. Her husband is soo ugly and wierd why would she marry that hyena. her deluded mom makes her feel so worthless that she would even consider it. man he was crazy. and then the end just when u think things couldint get any worse they do. and its so true but sad how even though her mom treated her soo bad she still loved her and felt bad for --what happened-. although lol its probably obvious. Her kid is the only thing that keeps her going i think. i hate when guys take advantage of innocent girls its soo cliche. shiz at least if ur gonna be a man whore at least make it original so we wont die of boredom.

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