David and Lisa (TV Movie 1998) Poster

(1998 TV Movie)

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  • David Clemens (Lukas Haas), a bright young man suffering from nightmares, an obsession with time, and haphephobia (fear of being touched), is placed in Border School, a residential treatment center for disturbed youths. At first, David is distant and arrogant to everyone, including his psychiatrist, Doctor Jack Miller (Sidney Poitier), but he finds himself making an emotional connection with 15 year-old schizophrenic Lisa Brandt (Brittany Murphy), who speaks only in rhyme.

  • David and Lisa is a remake of David and Lisa (1962) (1962), both of which were based on the 1960 novel Lisa and David by American psychiatrist and author Theodore Isaac Rubin, M.D. The original screenplay for the 1962 movie was written by American screenwriter Eleanor Perry and adapted for this TV movie by Perry, Rubin, and Lloyd Kramer.

  • Muriel is Lisa's alter ego. When she is Lisa, she speaks in rhyme. When she is Muriel, she draws but does not speak at all.

  • When David reprimands Lisa for interrupting Natalie's (Kim Murphy) piano playing by toying with the metronome, Lisa runs away. Dr Miller has the police looking for her, but David thinks she may have gone to the museum to be near her favorite sculpture. He and Miller drive over and find Lisa asleep on the steps, waiting for the museum to open. David wakes her up, and Lisa says, 'You were nice to Natalie, and you were mean to me.' David notices that, for the first time, Lisa is not attempting to rhyme. Also for the first time, David reaches out his hand to Lisa and tells her to take hold of it. In the final scene, David and Lisa walk hand-in-hand to Dr Miller's car.

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