Lace (TV Mini-Series 1984) Poster


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Great 1980's TV Mini Series
asierramoore200212 February 2006
I have been trying for many years to get my hands on an original taped copy of the miniseries and have just been able to do so. Copies of this miniseries are extremely rare! Lace, the miniseries, is the best miniseries I have ever seen on TV. I saw this when I was about ten and fell in love with the glamor, the mystery, the romance, the suspense and the actors. Someone made a comment about the acting being shallow, however I say that the acting was superb. The quality of the production reminded me of old romantic masterpieces. Phoebe Cates,Brooke Adams, Bess Armstrong, Arielle Dombasle, and Anthony Higgins all give stunning performances. Lace II is also equally intriguing. My only wish is that Lorimar or the company currently owning the rights to this series will start making DVD copies for sale! Why can't one purchase this magnificent series on Amazon, or anywhere? Lace seems to be a gem in hiding.
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So bad it's good
jkt121914 May 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This is one of those cheestastic 80's movies that is so bad that it's good. I turned this on one day to have as background noise while I cleaned my apartment. Six hours later, I was still on my couch and my apartment was still dirty.

Lace is about a young, internationally famous, French actress named Lili. As a child she was told by her foster parents that one day her mother would come for her. They are killed when she is six, and Lili is left to fend for herself. She becomes a model, a nude model, then a porn actress. As an adult, she finds out that her foster parents had been receiving money. When she tracks down the source of the funds, she is told that her mother thought that Lili had been killed with her foster parents. The source of the funds cannot tell her exactly who her mother is, all she knows is that the mother is one of three women who were the best of friends in Switzerland.

Judy (American), Pagan (English), and Maxine (French) are best friends at a boarding school in Switzerland. One of them gets pregnant, and the three of them tell each other that they will stick together. After graduation, they hide out in the country until the delivery date, then give the girl to a foster family. They make a pact that they will go out into the world and the first one who gets on her feet will send for Lili. For the next few years, they each become established, but each makes excuses for not sending for Lili until they hear that she has been killed. After that, they no longer keep in touch until Lili invites all of them together to find out which one of them is her mother.

The story is told through flashbacks, focusing on how each of the three girls could be the mother. You don't even find out who she is until the last two minutes of the movie. There are also small flashbacks of Lili's life (luckily, there aren't many). This movie is mainly about the lives of these three women.

BTW, the title Lace, comes from the name of Judy's magazine. As a teenager in Switzerland, she was continuously writing a book that featured her alter-ego, Lucinda Lace.

Phoebe Cates, while very beautiful, is hilariously awful as Lili. As someone brought up in France, you think her accent would be French. Instead, it's this strange affected accent. It's too bizarre to explain. Her character is whiny, diva-ish, and obnoxious. Lili is supposed to be a woman that men desire and lust after, but I don't know how anyone could feel that way about a girl who acts like a brat and is rude to everyone. The actress who plays Pagan is supposed to be English, but I didn't realize that she was until someone made some comment about where she was from. Her accent comes and goes throughout. Angela Landsbury also has a nice little cameo as Maxine's Aunt Hortense.

The dialogue can be awful, the clothes very Dynasty-like (apparently, every woman wore hats in the 80's), and the makeup looks like it was slapped on with a trowel. But, it is great fun. I hope the powers that be release it on DVD.
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Sprawling, impossibly glamorous, epic freak show
Falconeer17 November 2007
Aunt Hortense(in French dialect): "But the child is killed, it's dead, you know?" Lili (indefinable Euro dialect): "They'll wish I was. Their little school girl pact sent me to hell. I'll show them what I learned there..."

And so begins the saga that captivated millions of viewers in 1984. For this story of the poor little rich girl/porno queen/movie goddess had more charm, more style, and more suspense than anything ever seen before, or possibly since.. "Lace" also featured the most intoxicating and sweeping romantic situations, which stretched across no less than 5 countries, involving Arab Princes, French Champagne Barons, Shipping tycoons, and one vengeful Porno star turned legitimate actress. And this epic all begins with her, Lily, played by the outrageously exotic and sexy Phoebe Cates. Abandoned as a child, by a seemingly unfeeling mother, the young Elizebeth is cast into the cruel world and lands in a Hungarian work camp at the age of six, where she is mistreated and violated by soldiers, for 10 grueling years. Escaping at the age of 15, she flees to Paris, where she begins her descent into depravity, including back alley abortions, street prostitution, and finally ending up in pornographic cinema, all at the age of 16. Meanwhile her mother, who incidentally, could be any one of three amazingly successful and beautiful women, goes about her life believing that her child had been killed. Not true, as these three ladies are about to find out. And this is the most captivating element of this clever film: The viewer has no idea which one of these three is the mother of this vengeful wildcat, and we must wait until the end of this 4 hour epic to find out the truth. And as we find out at the same time as Lily, we really feel involved with these characters. Told effectively in flashbacks, we get to know each one of these fascinating women intimately. We are with them at their Swiss boarding school, where the scandal begins, and we follow them all on their separate paths of broken relationships, staggering romances, and jet setting around the world. Pagan, the sarcastic, raven haired English girl, who falls hard for Abdullah, the Prince of Sydon. And Maxine, the doll like French beauty, and her Champagne baron. And Judy, who is realizing her dream of seeing her New York fashion magazine, "Lace" become reality. And all the while, the life of the less fortunate Lily is also presented, in contrast to these womens seemingly easy and privileged lives. Lily's experiences have made her into a very hard and angry young woman, who fatefully decides to use her star power to bring each of these women to their knees. And there you have it. To say more might ruin the experience of "Lace." Now as cinema, "Lace" might not be considered a masterpiece compared the great classics. But as a piece of Escapism, this film absolutely cannot be rivaled. Women will most likely find themselves transfixed by the endless parade of haut couture fashions, clothes that are so classic and elegant that they would be right in style today. And the men will undoubtedly be drawn in by the collection of these strong and beautiful women. And the scenery is something to behold as well, from the Swiss Alps, to Ascot, to the wind blown deserts of the Middle East, to the glittering skyscrapers of Manhatten, not to mention the interiors of the most beautiful homes, hotel rooms, and castles, as well as exotic cars that are constantly on display. The budget for this production must have been staggering, for it makes Dynasty look absolutely anemic by comparison!

Compliment the goings on with a sweeping romantic score, and you have the ultimate trash novel come to blazing life on the screen. For the full impact of this one, it should be watched without commercial interruptions, so that the fantasy is not interrupted. I have a DVD box set, which includes the vastly inferior, and insulting "Lace II," and even when watched today, this has aged well. In the 80's perhaps this didn't really surprise people, as this level of decadence was presented often in this time, on television shows like Dynasty, and "Falcon Crest," but in present day, this unabashed show of opulence could almost be considered as politically incorrect, as the greed and status hunting lifestyles of the 80's is frowned upon today. But luckily, that specific time is immortalized in "Lace," an undeniable symbol of the 1980's.
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Great mini-series about a girl who wants to know the truth about who is her mother.
wtca-wright26 November 2005
This mini-series was great,I hope that one day I will be able to buy it on video or on d.v.d. All the acting was fantastic. If you have read the book you will still enjoy this, and then go on to read and watch lace2 the sequel.

Phoebe Cates (wife of Kevin Kline) was a perfect choice to play Lili as she is both beautiful and very very talented. You will be wondering who is Lili's mother and when you find out you will then be wanting to find out who is Lili's father is. The other actresses in the show portraying the potential mothers of Lili played their parts fantastically.

Go ahead hire this one and enjoy.
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"Which one of you bitches is my mother?"
Caitlin6 March 1999
Campy, trashy mini-series from the early 80s that received a lot of publicity for Lili's query that ends part one: "Which one of you bitches is my mother?" This five hour mini-series was inspired by Shirley Conran's popular novel, but isn't very similar. Phoebe Cates plays Lili, an orphan who grows from a child in a prison camp to hooker to porn star to legitimate actress to global phenom in flashbacks. Lili is glamorous and beautiful, but not very likeable or even sympathetic, and Cates' nonspecific Eurotrash accent must be heard to be believed. Lili eventually traces her roots back to a trio of students who attended a Swiss finishing school together, one of whom gave birth to her using the pseudonym Lucinda Lace. Each of their lives is examined in flashback as well, as the soap opera-style drama of each of their lives progresses. By the time Lili finds out which "bitch" is her mother, it doesn't really matter. But the glamorous 80s-style costumes and beautiful international locations alone make this worth spending an afternoon watching. NOTE: sometimes a truncated 180 minute version of this airs on TV. See the complete version if you can.
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I give it an 8 out of 10 for the category of soap opera...
s_kraymond11 January 2001
If you like British soaps, I would recommend this one. I found it quite amusing. Any parts of the story which I found "silly" are all to the better, in my opinion, for a story that is not supposed to be serious art or a true-slice-of-life. After the character of Lili enters the story ...(perhaps I should say that I didn't see the first ten minutes of this and I presume Lili was not at the beginning) I began to get the feeling that I was watching a South American soap opera. Don't let that comment put you off; I didn't expect to like it but I did! The actors did a good job with their material. The music was poor as in most British television shows. Phoebe Cates' outrageous accent only added to the charm; I found myself looking forward to hearing it. I would give it a 8 out of 10... for the category of soap opera.
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One of the best mini-series of the 80's!
DennisAlexis2 January 2014
"Lace" is an American mini-series from 1984, directed by Billy Hale and based on the popular novel by Shirley Conran.

Judy Hale, Pagan Trelowney and Maxine Pascal used to be best friends in the sixties, while attending the same boarding school in the Swiss Alps. Twenty years later, a glamorous movie star named Lili, summons the three women to her hotel, asking them: "Which one of you bitches it my mother?"

I first saw "Lace" as a kid, when the series was rerun on Swedish television in the nineties. I was so impressed by the powerful women, exotic locations and over-the-top story lines. A couple of years later, after my fascination with the eighties had begun, "Lace" was rerun yet again. This time around, I was old enough to fully enjoy this wonderful series.

I'm a big fan of trashy mini-series, especially from the eighties. But even though some parts of "Lace" could be considered trashy, it's a lot better than people give it credit! The acting is solid. Bess Armstrong, Brooke Adams and Arielle Dombasle all play their parts as glamorous and powerful women beautifully.

But my personal favourite is of course the amazing Phoebe Cates, known from eighties classics "Gremlins" and "Fast Times At Ridgemont High". She plays the strong, yet vulnerable Lili perfectly, bringing both sexiness and innocence to the complexed character.

Worth mentioning is that Angela Lansbury, of "Murder, She Wrote" fame, plays a small part as Maxine's aunt Hortense. She has the worst French accent in the history of fake accents, but who cares? It's Angela Lansbury for God's sake!

Also worth mentioning is the amazing soundtrack composed by Nick Bicât. Hearing the iconic theme song gives me goosebumps every time. The soundtrack finally available to buy digitally and physically from the composer's official website. It also includes the beautiful Deniece Williams track "No More Lies" from the sequel "Lace II".

"Lace" can be considered trashy and campy, but it's a lot better than most mini-series from the era. It's definitely one of my personal favourites. If you enjoy soap operas such as "Dynasty" and "Falcon Crest", I'm sure you'll love "Lace"!

"Lace" is available as a print-on-demand DVD from Amazon US. However, an official DVD have been released here in Scandinavia, and this edition can be imported from Amazon UK.
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Classic TV-MINI SERIES Soap Drama
kenandraf15 September 2002
Very good soap drama TV-MINI SERIES that is very glamoruos,intriguing and is about the mystery of who is the mother of a young sex icon movie star.It is four hours long without commercials so do not watch this one in one sitting unless you have a lot of spare time.It's really meant to be watched in installments.Only for big fans of tv mini-series type soap dramas,it has a very good all around production for a tv show and could have been a masterpiece if it had better acting.The lead actors did their best but they really show their limitations here.Still,the acting was on par with the tv soap standards and Phoebe Cates truly fit her character.Most fans of the genre will consider this a cult classic.Fans of the lead actors will also want to check this out.......
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Glamour Of The 80's
Bimbo_Boy16 May 2002
This is one of my favorite movies ever! A soap opera which show you the glamour of the wonderful 80's. Phoebe Cates is fabulous as the movie star diva Lili. When I think about "Lace" I think about all the glamour, the money, the clothes, the hair styles, the makeup, the fabulous female characters and of course the wonderful music. I will never forget this movie (TV-show) and I've got all the episodes on tape. So whenever I feel like going back to the 80's I just turn the video on. ;)

"Which one of you bitches is my mother?"
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Tasteful entertainment
axess958 August 2007
My wife has been been talking for the last 10 years about this TV-show and finally we got a chance to see it. To my surprise it turned out far less a chick-flick then I assumed (Thornbirds was a memory-lane disaster for the both of us). The story has nice twists, is nicely built and could stand any comparison to modern dramas. Sure, 1984 filming standards and some (few) bad acting parts make you want to laugh out loud but otherwise the show is most entertaining and easily watchable even on 21k-standards. On the other hand, the innocence in the way the show was filmed make it more attractive. A modern version would most likely destroy some of that particular touch. Lace is not built on intelligent dialogs however tells a story of failed promises and friendships in a way that makes you want to watch until the end.
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the Height of 80's excess!
Nick-33727 June 2001
"Lace" reminds me of "lifestyles of the rich and famous"...the Aaron Spelling soaps "Dynasty" & "Hotel"..."Sins" starring Joan Collins...and that tv-movie with Stephanie Powers where she plays her own twin and gets blown up on a yacht. But I have to say that "Lace" was the absolute pinnacle of greed, glitz and excess in the 1980's. I can remember this being on tv when I was a kid and it seemed great back then. Now I look back and gag at the decadence of it all. I think this movie was filmed in every major city in Europe, New York, and some of the middle east. The budget had to be incredible! It was totally unbelievable which woman turned out to be Lily's mother, a huge let-down. I have to say that the best reason for watching "Lace" is to see how incredibly sexy and young Pheobe Cates was back then. Hubba Hubba!
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Good jive soap opera for a boring day
Bondgirl116 April 2000
I agree with others that the movie did run for a long time but hey, when you have nothing to do on a rainy day or a slow day it is actually quite enjoyable. My biggest problem was with Phoebe Cates' acting. The accent was a little much and besides, in Lace II didn't her accent like, not exist anymore? Of course that's a whole different comment for that movie. Either way I enjoyed watching the three girls lives form with their romances and careers more so than I did with Lily's life. You could have skipped on that part altogether. Lily was abandoned, grows up and wants to know who her mother is. Simple. End there. Either way it's fun to watch if you have nothing else to do and some parts will have you interested.
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A classic!!
lacefilm19848 March 2010
Lace is an American television two-part miniseries, based on the novel of the same name by author Shirley Conran. The series aired on ABC from February 26–27, 1984. The plot concerns the search by sex symbol Lili (Phoebe Cates) for her natural mother, who surrendered her for adoption as a newborn.

The miniseries is infamous for the line "Which one of you bitches is my mother?" spoken by Lili, when she finally assembles the three potential candidates: Pagan Trelawney (Brooke Adams), Judy Hale (Bess Armstrong) and Maxine Pascal (Arielle Dombasle).

Now you can relive all the soapy moments by Ordering "Lace" at Warner Bros. Archive collection.,default,sc.html
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Romance, intrigue, girl seaches for parents.
mollidew22 February 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I think people don't realize this miniseries is an adaptation of a book by the same name which I have and it follows the book pretty well. I finally found the miniseries in YouTube where I can watch it in full even though it is broken up into small segments. Like others, I too searched for it. I think accents are insignificant. Many actors are not that adept with accents and that is the only criticism I have of Lace.

This was an outstanding miniseries more geared for females actually. The only other miniseries I have seen with such depth is Queenie. The main actresses were all quite good but the one I liked the least was Bess Armstrong who I thought was miscast. This is a story of young girls running the span of their lives from about 1960 to 1980 that were connected to high society. Much of the story is done in flashbacks going from each one of the women and the child that ties them together.

They are caught up in the idea of love and their many encounters with romance as young women in a boarding school in the Swiss Alps. They each have misadventures with men that they meet during that time. One of them gets pregnant and they stand together so that no one knows which one until the time comes when it is noticeable. The pregnant girl has her baby via a doctor that they were seeing together that was not the one that diagnosed the pregnancy. The baby is born but the child is placed with a couple and is watched over and support is sent by someone connected to the girls. The child is named Elizabeth Lace and her mother is put down as Lucinda Lace. The three make a pact between them that when any of them can afford to take the child they will. It is put off for a few years when they finally get word that the child has died which is not the case. This news breaks up their friendship since they all feel responsible for her death.

The child, Elizabeth, is put into a prison camp and spends many years going through horrendous experiences. She ends up a famous femme fatale of the screen. Her movies are risqué to say the least but she makes a lot of money. She has enough money and fame that she can now as a young adult, seriously search out and find her mother. Therefore she hires a private detective to help her find her mother. She brings them all back together against their better judgment and says the line that stands out to most who watched the series, "Which one of you bitches is my mother?"

This is a serious but light-hearted at times story of three women over the course of most of their young lives and how they are tied together by their experiences and the child one had out of wedlock.
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I loved this to at about same age
caspernet18 February 2007
To captivate a 10 yr old in a drama like this there must be something going for it. Lily (Phoebe) put across emotion excellently and I'd love to see this again. Great storyline, one of the most attention gripping films/series I have ever watched. Maybe it was partly also because she was such a pretty actress in this I maybe had a bit of a schoolboy crush. I remember the movie having a lot of flashbacks and being one of the 1st films I saw where the plot came together gradually from different angles as it went along. If anyone finds out any more information on where I can see or buy this again (I'm in the UK) then please email me at .... sorry review is a bit vague just wanted to drop my comment as it was so long ago (I'm 34 now) I don't remember much in detail
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Pre-Aaron Spelling Soap in the Era of Dynasty and Dallas...
momsykat13 July 2004
My problem is that I read the books first, and the first book was good. The second seemed to be forcing it, IMO. But I enjoyed seeing a favorite novel put to screen. It was said back then that every woman would find herself on at least one page in the book, identifying with women in ordinary heartache dramas yet who lived extravagantly wealthy lifestyles. Something like a Danielle Steele meets Dynasty and does old sizzling trash like the famed Jackie Collins. Great 1st book, movie was OK for fans. Nice late-night fare. The five sisters' experiences in a swiss boarding school, each girl from a different background (they cut one girl for the movie) one a welsh heiress, one a daring french socialite, one an American working her way through, and a very English girl, all seventeen and hot for romance. how meeting at this school wove through the rest of their lives was good storytelling. Definitely NC-17 for sexual and war-violence content (the book) but I might give the movie a strong R.
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I LOVE this movie!
Kimbersan17 January 2007
OK, yeah...It is a bit "soapy," but that is what a TV mini-series is all about, right? This movie is very long, about 6 hours, but it is cleverly set up. You follow along with the current time line of watching Lili find her mother, all the while watching flashbacks to get the history and back story. The suspense is there to make the watcher guess and try to figure things out along with Lili. When the very end arrives and you all find out what you have been waiting for, it is very gratifying.

This is definitely a movie that is great for a sick day or a snow know, one that you sit around all day and veg out. I just wish that I can find it on DVD!!!
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i enjoy the movie
tangsgirl442 October 2003
I really like the movies I would like to see if anyone have it so i could buy .I enjoy the plot and the girls they were very interesting. If you know any that has it please let me know I would appreciate that. I have seen it in a long time I would to see it again Thanks.
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Just what you'd expect from a 1980's TV miniseries
stella-3931 December 2003
Lace and Lace II were a multi-part 80's miniseries with an "international" cast. Unfortunately, this means there are English actors playing American (Trevor Eve), American actors playing French (Angela Lansbury), & the accents are all over the place - not least Phoebe Cates, who has an off-and-on vaguely European accent (as an adult - though the actor playing her as a child in Switzerland... well, never mind, it's complicated). The cast is topped off by the slightly odd French B-list actress Ariel Dombasle. There's a soap opera plot, embarrassing acting, a wardrobe that would make Joan Collins proud, & so many continuity errors it's worth making up a drinking game. Watchable only if there's absolutely nothing else on TV, & you have a piano tied to your butt.
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Sucks you in like a vacuem.
triple821 August 2003
Warning: Spoilers
Well, people may not have LIKED Lace but everyone seems to have SEEN it so I figure the actors/actresses, producers, directors and writers etc were laughing all the way to the bank.

No Lace isn't a masterpiece. Well in a way it is but not the way other movies are. If you could call it a movie-more like an epic.

Lace is decadent 80's glitz-But sometimes decadent 80's glitz can be fun. Cates fit the role, was there another actress in that era more exotically beautiful then Cates? She fit Lilli to a tee.

That said-BE WARNED-WATCH LACE AT YOUR OWN RISK!! Be prepared to forego any plans you might have for the day, make something to eat AHEAD of time, and if any of your miffed friends and family members get upset pray you can sit em down for 5 minutes so it has the same effect on them which is to basically render them immobile for the length of time the mini-series runs.

Of coarse this is all because of that one burning question:it's the question we need to know, the question that haunts us, nags at us, makes us do incredibly odd things like not go to sleep even though our head is spinning, or miss dinner even though we suffer from low blood sugar....

That all-important encompassing question is this:

Who is the mother of this girl?

Not that the answer really matters since the mothers are pretty much interchangable. But this does not matter. the question cries out for an answer and you just can't-you won't-leave the television until the answer is known.


The answer comes pretty quickly(NOT!!) Aproximately 4 MAYBE 5 minutea(if that) before the series ends-then you will feel really mad at yourself for watching in the first place.

So if this sounds like your cup of tea-watch Lace nest time its on-I actually enjoyed it in a sick addicted kind of way.In all seriuosness-this movie would have been really great had it only been about half a day shorter.
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Don't start watching this movie
travisl10 December 1998
This movie ran a painfully long four hours. I made the mistake of starting to watch it when I was flipping through the TV at 10:00 pm, and ended up going to bed fairly upset at myself for wasting so much time.

Don't start watching the film -- you'll want to find out who the mother is. You'll waste four hours. (You'll find out, two minutes from the end of the movie. Save yourself the agony; e-mail me for the answer.)

The biggest problem (other than it's a one hour story drug out over four hours), is that I never found myself caring or worried about any of the characters. They're all whiney, generic, bland people. The three potential mothers are fairly indistinguishable (was the magazine publisher the one who dated the hockey player? Who cares?). The daughter is only mildly sympathetic when she is a young child; by the end of the film I found myself wishing the guards had gunned her down, too.

I'm not big on emotional shows, although I liked "Sleepless in Seattle", "Forget Paris", "Mr. Holland's Opus", and "Good Will Hunting." Put "Lace" on the other end of the scale.
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Good Lord....
callistawolf2 September 2002
Four hours? I think it was more like 6 hours! I started watching it this afternoon. It was on the Oxygen Network after the movie "The Sure Thing". I'm still not sure why I started watching it. I just did. Like an IDIOT!

Its just...what's the word....classic 80s. VERY melodramatic and very trashy. But it just sucks you in. You have to find out who this persons mother is. Its not a matter of entertainment, its a matter of the need to know.

I realize I could just have easily gotten online and checked on any number of websites at any point during this torture, but no...I kept thinking it had to be ending soon. But it went on and on and on. Like the Energizer Bunny, only more annoying.

But I do have to say, this movie was horrible in a truly fabulous way. It was decadant trash at its best. This movie has a place in cult classic history. But saints preserve me from watching it again before I've blocked the horror from my mind.
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I disliked it!
vesperma057 May 2005
I found it to be a bit soapy. Lather up the baby and wait for the water. Wait, Wait, Wait, three hours into it and Cates has no idea who gave her life. You don't either. Nope, wait, and wait , and wait, it drags you along on this life of excess where no one washes the baby, takes care of the child or shows their hand. Wait, and wait and wait some more. The only saving grace is the women are pretty enough to look at for awhile. You will need a bag of nachos, four bags of popcorn, three cans of coke, two dogs on your lap and plenty of cut up sausage and cheese. It will suck you in. Remember the time your mom told you not touch a fire, this is it, you begin watching this and it will suck you in.
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Gag Me!
suzyqfd20 June 2000
I thought Phoebe Cates' put upon accent was god awful. This was truly a piece of trash. I cannot believe that great actresses like Angela Lansbury, Brooke Adams,et al, lent their names to this travesty. If you see this on the TV schedule, pass it up!
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Badly written, directed and boring
morrowmmm31 December 2002
I believe the book did well and the premise of the story sounds as if it could have been exciting. However this piece of trash was written by amateurs, directed by someone who probably found it hard to color by numbers and Phoebe Cates was disastrous. More than anything it used ten scenes where one would have done and was completely in love with a budget which, obviously, was far more than needed in the hands of competent producers. Quite dismal.
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