A young woman, played by Martha Plimpton learns of her adoption and eventually quits her law firm job in NYC and goes on a journey to find her birth mother - played by Jaqueline Bissett.


Christopher Munch


Christopher Munch, Alice Elliott Dark (excerpts from Betty's book written by)
3 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Jacqueline Bisset ... Frances
Martha Plimpton ... Rebecca
Nick Stahl ... Morgan
Amy Madigan ... Maggie
Frankie Faison ... Jimmy Dupree (as Frankie R. Faison)
Carmen Zapata ... Anna
Peggy Gormley ... Betty
Seymour Cassel ... Bob
Molly Price ... Rebecca's Colleague
Kate McGregor-Stewart ... Miriam
Clara Bellar Clara Bellar ... Mushroom Girl
Justin Theroux ... Rebecca's Boyfriend
Mark Tymchyshyn ... Larry Mosher
Anibal O. Lleras ... Mr. Vega
Phyllis Somerville ... Rebecca's Adoptive Mother


Frances had been a radio DJ in Florida; she's now living in San Francisco and dying of cancer, with one son living nearby whose work as a photographer is beginning to take off and another, mostly estranged, living in London. She makes a trip to rural Pennsylvania to visit an old lover (and his wife). Meanwhile, Rebecca is searching for her birth mother, who is, of course, Frances. Their lives intersect in other unexpected ways as her search and her work, inspecting the books of radio stations being acquired, progress. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

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Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for brief nudity and language

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User Reviews

A well-rounded character study. Bisset shines!
4 September 2020 | by rquevillSee all my reviews

A moving study of character and relationships: 9 stars

The Sleepy Time Gal is a character study about life and life's ending. It centers on Frances (Jacqueline Bisset), a writer and former DJ who is dying of cancer. She is seeking to clarify and perhaps gain closure on several relationships in her life, primarily with her son (played by Nick Stahl) and Bob, a former lover. A parallel story tracks the daughter, Rebecca (played by Martha Plimpton) whom Francis gave up for adoption at birth, and Rebecca's search for her birth mother.

The Sleepy Time Gal features excellent performances (especially by Bisset) and very strong writing and direction by Christopher Munch. While some might be put-off by the movie's relative lack of strict linear story-telling (that may make scenes seem disconnected), I found that the narrative style contributed positively to the movie's impact. For me, a person's life is a complex tapestry of events and relationships, not a tidy story.

I give The Sleepy Time Gal a solid 9 out of 10 stars and recommend it highly. I'd further recommend getting the DVD version and watching the deleted scenes after watching the movie. That's what I did, and I feel that it provided further insights about the characters and actions.

This is a movie devoid of zippy special effects and whiz-bang action sequences. However, if you want interesting, realistic characters and can tolerate a little ambiguity, The Sleepy Time Gal should meet with your approval.

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Release Date:

24 January 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Backwards Looks, Far Corners See more »

Filming Locations:

Daytona Beach, Florida, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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