Staying Together, a sincerely made coming-of-age tale, serves up familiar homilies about family values in changing small-town America and the indomitable power of love.
In a bucolic town somewhere in South Carolina, Mr and Mrs McDermott and their three strapping sons run a self-named home-cooked-chicken restaurant. Mom is a tower of strength and a paragon of understanding; dad is gruff but caring, and the brothers confine their red-blooded oats-sowing, boozing and pot-smoking to their off hours.
The yuppies have landed and pop McDermott takes an offer he can’t refuse for the restaurant and its choice land site.
Middle sibling Brian (essayed by Tom Cruise-John Travolta hybrid Tim Quill) has been having an affair with an older woman who’s championing the developers’ cause. When his dad decides to cash in, the hot-tempered kid denounces pop, leaves home and talks his way into a job on the condo construction site.
Lee Grant and screenwriter Monte Merrick push all the preprogrammed melodrama buttons, including prodigal son Brian’s too-late-to-say-goodbye dash to the hospital.