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Chase Phillips (Dame Helen Mirren), a lifetime resident of Martha's Vineyard, married Richard (Beau Bridges), and like the area, grew into the upper middle class. Her distaste for artificiality leads her to a wild breakdown, and Richard dutifully tries to restore their family unit as best he knows how by hiring a "Mother's Helper", Elizabeth (Kyra Sedgwick). Chase is broken, and wickedly caustic towards Elizabeth, until they discover each other's similarities. A strong relationship develops, affecting their personal and familial salvation, and destruction.Written by
Lew Jacobs <firstname.lastname@example.org>
It's a shame the script and theme didn't quite do her justice. Kyra Sedgewick also gives her all and Kevin Bacon's directorial debut is great - he captures the atmosphere amazingly well and I was surprised to find on the credits that Lake Ontario and its shore stood in for Martha's Vineyard and the Atlantic.
I thought it a shame that a sexual component was introduced to the slow awakening of Chase (Helen) from her "nervous breakdown" - a condition brought on by her disillusion at living a life of pretense with her husband, a man who loves her and is ashamed and baffled by her slide into depression.
This awakening is brought on by Elizabeth (Kyra), the mother's helper employed for the summer. A deep friendship develops between Chase and Elizabeth. Some of the scenes are overblown - the sports car, the borrowed yacht, but some are also magical, the kites, the garden.
Very very slender movie and quite touching at the end.
6 out of 10.
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