May 2, 2012

To Gillian on her 37th birthday, 1996

To Gillian on her 37th Birthday, 1996
Director: Michael Pressman
Cast: Peter Gallagher, Michelle Pfeiffer, Claire Danes, Kathy Baker

Stage: Home TV selection on a nice night. Long day behind me and I need something easy to watch.

To Gillian in short: David loves his wife, Gillian. Unfortunately, she died two years ago. David deals with his grief by continuing his romance with Gillian during walks with her "ghost" on the beach at night. While David lives in the past, other family problems crop up in the present in the real world

Preps: Hm. The cast is good. Although normally TV selection on an Wednesday night isn't something really stunning, I might be facing a decent run.

Reality: Well, this piece can leave you cold as hell or can get you down on your knees. Depends on the level on which you can relate to the situation. In this case, I cannot relate to the situation, nor do the actors persuade me to do so. I am dissappointed with small amount of energy I see in dialogues, the effort that the main cast pulled for this piece. Michelle Pfeiffer is a doll that comes and goes as she pleases (or as Gallagher's imagination depicts her). No true role inside this.
Claire Danes is a copy of what she played at Dawson's creek - a lost young lady with an emotional approach towards everything. I see the character she was there also inside this movie.
The same goes for Kathy Baker; Picket Fences were the ones that I remembered her by; as a caring mother and someone that wants to do right things and fight for justice. Well, this role is a copy of what she was in Picket Fences. Obviously she does it well.

Somehow all the main characters have the same roles they had in their glorious series, movies, things that made them celebrities. However, is this the right way to go? Just to take the right characters and repeat their act, not let them grow? The movie can leave you cold, if you decide it's the wrong way director should choose. Because the characters in Gillian just repeat what they used to do, only with some different wordings.

The story is a touchy one, though. Forgetting someone you loved after a tragedy can be hopeless. If an adolescent child is involved, it can get even worse. How to deal with the loss, is the main storyline here. And what is best for the child. Should the rest of the family get involved? I believe, not. All the people in the world have tons of problems. I think people should firstly deal with their own and clean their own house, before molesting someone else's lives and destroying families. In this sense, a family gets torn apart for no appareant (or righteous reason). Death is a part of life and we should be able to cope with it or deal with it at some point. Learned that when my mother passed away a few years ago and I was left all alone.

The movie doesn't get my thumbs up. It just didn't offer as much as one would expect. The cast can be extremely well chosen, but it's on the director to pull energy out of them, and the script can be the foundation of a good movie. In this case it wasn't.

My personal rating: 4,0 (you won't miss a thing if you don't watch it. You can do all sorts of things inbetween. Go to the fridge, wash yourself, etc. You won't miss anything if you miss tens of minutes. Or the complete movie. I like the idea, though and believe it's not so rotten for a TV movie).

To Gillian on IMDB

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