.

Immediate Family

Glenn Close, James Woods, Mary Stuart Masterson

Directed by Jonathan Kaplan
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 0
Community: star rating
5 0 0
October 27, 1989

Lucy Moore, The Seventeen-year-old played by Mary Stuart Masterson, is pregnant by Sam (Kevin Dillon), a Guns n' Roses fanatic with no job prospects. Lucy doesn't want an abortion, so a lawyer arranges an open adoption with Linda and Michael Spector, an infertile couple from Seattle.

Problem number 1: Glenn Close and James Woods play the well-meaning Spectors; he's a veterinarian, she sells real estate. Both actors make yeoman efforts to look like they stepped out of thirty-something -- Woods even cuddles a cat It won't wash. I haven't seen such a futile struggle since Meryl Streep and Robert De Niro attempted to pass for average New Yorkers in Falling in Love. Close (Fatal Attraction, Dangerous Liaisons) and Woods (Salvador, True Believer) are dynamos, best at portraying driven neurotics. Here, striving to stay life-size, they seem embalmed, zombied out.

Problem number 2: The script, by Barbara Benedek, who co-wrote The Big Chill, has the if-it-can-happen-it-will inevitability of TV soap opera. In an open adoption, a couple can grow close to the birth mother they care for during the last stages of pregnancy and then never see her again. The Spectors grow very close to Lucy. The birth mother, even at the last minute, can change her mind about giving up her baby. Lucy wavers a lot. And so on. The film resonates with the sound of other shoes dropping.

Problem number 3: The directorial touch of Jonathan Kaplan (The Accused) has the subtlety of an anvil. Lucy shows the Spectors a photo of her late mother, who holds baby Lucy in one arm while averting her face to avoid poking the baby with the cigarette dangling from her lips. Later, Kaplan freeze-frames the grown Lucy in the same position with her baby.

Problem number 4: Acting, writing and directing combine to suggest that those with money inevitably make better parents than those without. Immediate Family is selling the slick wonders of carpeting and nurseries with a view. However unintentionally, this movie leaves a viewer muttering, "Yuppie scum."

prev
Movie Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    More Reviews »
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Bleeding Love”

    Leona Lewis | 2007

    In 2008, The X Factor winner Leona Lewis backed up her U.K. singing competition victory with an R&B anthem for the ages: "Bleeding Love," an international hit that became the best-selling song of the year. The track was co-penned by OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder (whose radio dominance would continue with songs such as Beyonce's "Halo" and Adele's "Rumour Has It") and solo artist Jesse McCartney, who was inspired by a former girlfriend, Gossip Girl actress Katie Cassidy. Given the song's success, McCartney didn't regret handing over such a personal track: "No, no," he said. "I'm so happy for Leona. She deserves it. There are really no bad feelings."

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com