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William R. Moses
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Rob Marrocco Jr.,
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Pediatrician by day, single mom by night, SARAH invites her estranged husband, PETE, back to their suburban home for the Holidays on one condition: he must reconcile with their daughters before she agrees to finalize a trial separation with divorce. Written by
Catherine E. Rubey
What a pity, this might have been a 7 or 8 star film. The writing and acting handled the story well. Barry Bostwick was particularly good as a Pete, an older man coming to terms with his past mistakes, lost opportunities, mid-life quandaries and so on, but all the cast were believable and sensitive in their roles. The viewer sees the situation from Pete's viewpoint, but the issues are largely kept in the present and there is a genuine feeling of uncertainty about what will happen, what the characters "ought" to do. Up until the last 15-20 minutes that is. For some reason this film feels like it has been nobbled. All of a sudden the tone changes, and the previous girlfriend disappears without a word (unless I blinked and missed her). There's some over-the-top sickly sentimental singing and sledgehammer religiosity which to me seemed out of place, and everything is tied up in a neatly traditionally moral way. Personally I did not mind what the ending was, there aren't always clear rights and wrongs in life, and I like happy (and uncertain or unhappy) endings in films. But in this case the ending did not fit the rest of the film and felt rather false and forced. The film morphed from a fairly interesting, thoughtful piece of work into a moral lesson, although some may prefer that.
Not a bad watch on the whole, if you are in the mood, it has some good moments.
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