Sarah Russell, a 23-year-old aspiring medical school student, visits her family to share some important news but instead finds herself confronting a difficult period from her past.
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Enjoyed this great Hallmark Theatre Presentation which had a very downto earth dramatic event which happens in people's lives and two womenwho both experience horrible events in their lives. One is a marriedwoman with teenage boys and a great husband who loves her and they havea young one year old baby girl who has a babysitter who is distractedby her brothers and the baby falls to her death down a flight ofstairs. This woman is named Lorainne Morrisey, (Jennifer Ehle) and thebabysitter is Sarah Russell, (Amber Tamblyn). This tragic eventoccurred six years ago and time has passed by and Sarah Russell is abuyer for Macy's Department Store in Chicago and is also informed thatshe has been accepted in Northwestern University in Chicago to pursue amedical profession. Unfortunately, Sarah is also informed by medicaldoctors that she has an aggressive leukemia which must be treatedimmediately. This is a great story about a mother who lost her babydaughter and blames a babysitter for this tragedy and the babysitterfeeling that she caused this babies death. Don't miss this TV film thenext time it is shown.
Sappy story; sappy acting; sappy music - and to make it even worse,it's excruciatingly slow. Please shoot me.There is no story here, or character development or anything other thandepressing music, long-faced actors, and interminably long scenes. Bythe first break, you don't even know what it's about - exceptmiserably, self-absorbed people.And the typical movie-of-the-week production values don't add anythingto it either.The only thing worse was the Hallmark commercial at the first break.But that, at least, was mercifully short. In fact, that's what thismovie seems to be - a sappy 30-second commercial padded out to twohours.
This is one of the best movies I've seen in years. While the "Matrix"crowd may consider the plot "slow," I consider it natural andunhurried. This movie rests on its WRITING and PERFORMANCE, not fancygraphics, nudity, or profanity. You can watch this show with your3-year-old.Two families are caught in a very plausible conflict. There is a lot ofjudgment, anger, blame, self-loathing, and fear involved. The conflictrises to an almost intolerable level, but then is eventually resolved.Like many real-life conflicts and wounds, the Russell girl wallsherself off in unhealthy denial and self-judgment. The family doesn'thelp either, with the mother blinding herself to the depth of herdaughter's guilt. True to the self-righteous, self-justified attitude of humans in theirworst light, the antagonist (Jennifer Ehle) had deepened the wound formany years, but with the artful interplay of emotions and relationshipswoven by Blotevogel, the wound is finally punctured and healed.My hat is off to Jill Blotevogel, Jeff Bleckner, Amber Tamblyn, and allthe people involved in making this excellent film.
Outstanding film dealing with relationships, human tragedy and therebounding of the human spirit.The film sports 2 outstanding performances by heroine Amber Tamblyn, aMacy's buyer, who has been accepted to Northwestern University, topursue a medical profession only to discover that she has an aggressiveform of leukemia and Jennifer Ehle, as Lorraine.6 years earlier while babysitting for a one year old daughter, theTamblyn character was distracted by the antics of the baby's two olderbrothers with tragedy ensuing. This tragedy has caused Lorraine tobecome an embittered, emotionally wrought woman who is doing anexcellent job of alienating both her husband and sons.Upon receiving this terrible diagnosis, Tamblyn (Sarah) rushes home toher parents and brother who bring her the news of her Northwesternacceptance. Unable to tell them the terrible news, the movie becomesone of interpersonal relationships among the cast including Sarah'sformer boyfriend, who has returned home to tend to his stroke victimfather.This film is definitely a triumph of the human spirit throughperseverance and courage.The film shows how in adversity people can come together. I highlyrecommend it.
While one should not expect an Emmy award winner out of the moviesHallmark typically puts out, "The Russell Girl" was OK entertainmentfor two hours. I appreciated the lack of long commercial breaks. It wasdifficult to say if the lead actress, Tamblyn, made the movie slow downin parts or if it was just the script itself. It did seem to drag outas she kept playing a "keep-away" game of her secret from her family.Even though she was relatively young (early 20's) she had not resolveda major event that had happened five years ago, one she ran away from.This movie did fairly well in showing the results of not forgiving aswell as the ineffectiveness of running away from a bad situation. Itjust seemed to take awhile to get to the ending that wasn't a surprisebut was nice to see anyhow.The strength of the movie came in giving the audience a chance toexamine their own lives, if given the news of having an "aggressivecancer". Would we accept it as some sort of karma for the bad things wehave done? Would we try to right past wrongs? How would we spend thelittle time we have left? Considering the junk that passes forentertainment on TV lately (watching someone strapped to a lie detectorfor an hour?), I did not have any regrets using up two hours of my lifeon this movie.(A better Hallmark movie on forgiveness is "The Christmas Gift" withNeal Patrick Harris.)
If there was a plot, it took more than 30 min to unfold and I wasunable to watch any longer. The acting and production was fine but itwas such a shame to waste the talent and money to produce this boringscript.The Russell girl (Tamblyn) comes home to share some bad news,presumably that she is about to die of leukemia, and runs into abrooding next door neighbor harboring some grudge from another time.Sarah's mom (Mastrantonio) is so clueless about listening to Sarah'smood that Sarah starts brooding too. Tamblyn's natural brooding is soover used by this script that the first 30 minutes has enough broodingfor three or four movies. As scene after scene goes by withoutdisclosure of the root problems, my snooze level rises. After 30 minutes or so I was done. I was very BORED, and angry that mytime and the talents of this great cast were wasted by this directorand producer.
As the movie opens in Chicago, we see the "Russell girl" Amber Tamblynas Sarah Russell, college graduate who aspires to medical school buthas not been accepted yet and is working in Chicago in retail. But wealso see her going to a clinic to get what turns out to be some badnews, she is sick with a form of leukemia. So she travels home toStaunton, Illinois, to "burn off" some of her vacation. But her realreason was the illness, and she wasn't sure how she would handle oreven tell her family.Across the street lives Jennifer Ehle as Lorainne Morrisey, with herfamily which includes two teen-age sons. We find out there had been atragedy about 6 years earlier, Lorainne lost her young daughter and hadnever gotten over it.The movie has two main stories, how Sarah deals with her illness, andher old boyfriend whom she wants to be with, but doesn't want to burdenhim with her problems. The other is how Lorainne can get over her lossand live life again. Not a great movie, but a good enough one.SPOILERS: Sarah had been involved in the tragedy, she was thebabysitter, trying to quell a fight between the two sons when thedaughter fell down the stairs into the basement, and dying from herinjuries. Lorainne had never forgiven Sarah, and was mean to her whenshe saw her. She was also angry at her husband for not fixing thebasement door to prevent what happened. But finally we learn thatLorianne had bought the wrong screws, that is why the door was notfixed. The tragedy was really no one's fault, sometimes bad thingshappen to good people. Sarah eventually told her parents and friends,and was also accepted into medical school, but as the movie ends she isfocusing on her treatment.
If the news is not good ...Of COURSE the news isn't good. This is a Hallmark Hall of Fameproduction.Sarah Russell is a buyer for Macy's in Chicago. She wanted to go tomedical school, but so far she has not been accepted anywhere. But nowshe may not get the chance to go to medical school anyway. She hasAcute Myelogenous Leukemia, and while it can be treated, she needs toact quickly.Sarah goes home, since she has vacation time coming. Once she hasreturned to her hometown, she meets former boyfriend Evan, who works athis father's gas station. Evan is actually an investment banker inDallas, but when his father had a stroke, he had to come hometemporarily to help out, doing what he could in his other job by meansof technology. After a minor accident, Sarah has an excuse to spendtime with Evan, who can do the necessary repairs to her car.When Sarah returns to her parents' house, Lorraine from across thestreet sees her, goes inside and tells her husband "The Russell Girl"is back, in a tone that makes it appear Sarah was part of some scandalyears ago. Lorraine, who restores furniture and related items, soonbecomes depressed and bitter, and almost incapable of functioningbecause of migraines. She won't even watch her teenage son playing inan important baseball game.Sarah's parents are happy to see her, and they have a telephone messageshe believes they would rather not have heard. No, it's not that. Sheactually has been accepted to Northwestern's medical school. Sarahcan't give them the bad news now. There may be more to her refusal tosay anything, though.The movie has important messages about forgiveness and dealing withguilt. Amber Tamblyn and Jennifer Ehle both give superior performances.Ehle has the greater challenge because of her wide range of moods, butshe also delivers some unexpected moments. Tamblyn also has to show awide range. Fortunately, a movie that could have been quite depressinghas some pleasant moments and even some humor. For example, the girl atthe karaoke bar would never make it past Simon Cowell.Young children may be upset by one scene (although the references tocancer would be enough to discourage them anyway), but the event iscritical and only implied (the tragic result is mentioned explicitlyseveral times). Brief flashbacks, and one longer one, look like a WorldBook Encyclopedia illustration of one type of color blindness. It isthe long flashback that is the key to the whole movie.It was worthy of the name Hallmark.
I watched this movie out of boredom, but the melancholy feel of themovie drew me in, fueled by a strange sense that somethings off. Idesperately needed to know what was going on. Sarah seemed to bestruggling with something, but like many people effected by tragedy,she couldn't find the words to talk about what she's going through. Thesadness tore my heart. On the other end, Jennifer's suffering seemedeven more fueled by her lack of closure. I spent the night glued to thetelevision, praying that they'd both get what they needed to move onwith their lives.I better warn the men, this IS a chick flick.
Sarah (Amber Tamblyn) left her small town in the Missouri area to livein Chicago. When she was barely out of high school, a tragedy occurred,something Sarah feels was her fault. Her former boyfriend, Evan (PaulWesley) was heartbroken about the young lady's exit from his life andhe moved to Texas, where he became a successful money manager. AlthoughSarah stays in touch with her parents and younger brother, she remainsremote from all who love her for five years. Now, bad news arrives.Sarah learns that she is seriously ill, though doctors tell her she hasa chance of recovery. Unhappily, Sarah thinks her sickness is theresult of "karma", a tit-for-tat for the accident that happened half adecade ago. So, Sarah heads back to her hometown. Her parents welcomeher, but don't give her an opportunity to convey her secret, as theyare always rushing here and there. A neighbor woman, Lorraine (JenniferEhle) is upset beyond tears, for the tragedy struck her family. No one,not her caring husband or her two teenage sons can help her out of alingering grief. With Sarah's return, she is shaken to the core. Whatwill be the end result? Meanwhile, Sarah finds that Evan has returned,also, to care for his ailing, widower father. Before long, sparks areflying between them, something Sarah tries to repress since she doesn'tknow if she will beat her illness. With all of these serious lifeevents unfolding, will there be a way to go beyond the singularhappening that changed everyone's lives? This is quite a sensitivefilm, tackling many deep issues but it is hardly a happy Hallmarkmovie. Tears will probably fall for all who choose to watch it. Thecast is great, with Tamblyn, Ehle, Mary Elizabeth Mastriantonio, Wesleyand all of the others doing a great job. The setting is likewisewonderful, a beautiful, well-preserved small city with lovelysurroundings. Though the plot unfolds slowly and is told with the aidof flashbacks, it still has a huge amount of courage in itspresentation. Therefore, although it is part of the Hallmarkcollection, its not for all viewers. But, its exploration of tragedy,lingering grief, misplaced blame, guilt and other serious issues makesit a cathartic blessing for some. Act accordingly.