(out of 5)
Based on the bestseller (and Oprah Book the Month selection) by Jacquelyn Mitchard, this film is so adequate and appropriate in all the right spots that some audience members might not even remember it after they’ve seen it. Michelle Pfeiffer plays a mother of two who attends her high school reunion and right before her very eyes her youngest son is kidnapped. Flash forward to ten years later, when the young man is found by pure coincidence and must be returned to his real parents and original home. Can he can come back now that he’s known a life elsewhere? The transition between the two acts isn’t as smooth in the film as in the novel, leaving you to wonder which of the two the film is really about, but those looking for some good old fashioned drama won’t be disappointed. Pfeiffer shines, but her surroundings are too dull to really let her make something of this role. Whoopi Goldberg has a small role as the chief detective in the kidnapping investigation and Treat Williams plays the appropriately put-out father (“You always think you’re the only who lost him” blah blah blah).
Directed by Ulu Grosbard
Cinematography by Stephen Goldblatt
Music by Elmer Bernstein
Production Design by Dan Davis
Costume Design by Susie DeSanto
Film Editing by John Bloom