Review: ‘For the Love of Nancy’

Filmed in Vancouver by Vin Di Bona Prods. and ABC Television Network. Executive producers, Vin Di Bona, Lloyd Weintraub; producer, Harry R. Sherman; director, Paul Schneider; writers, Carol Evan McKeand, Nigel McKeand; Based on a real-life story and starring former anorexia sufferer Tracey Gold ("Growing Pains"), this tale of a teenager pulled back from self-willed starvation is presented vividly enough to send any viewer out to raid the fridge.

Filmed in Vancouver by Vin Di Bona Prods. and ABC Television Network. Executive producers, Vin Di Bona, Lloyd Weintraub; producer, Harry R. Sherman; director, Paul Schneider; writers, Carol Evan McKeand, Nigel McKeand; Based on a real-life story and starring former anorexia sufferer Tracey Gold (“Growing Pains”), this tale of a teenager pulled back from self-willed starvation is presented vividly enough to send any viewer out to raid the fridge.

Eighteen-year-old Nancy Walsh (Gold) is the youngest child in a seemingly well-adjusted family. Popular at school, she has no apparent reason to forswear food, to pull elaborate subterfuges to hide her affliction, or to resist medical help after her parents (Jill Clayburgh, William Devane) belatedly recognize her illness.

Story tiptoes around the nature of her cure and dissolves in pious cliches just about the moment the newly saved Nancy takes her first tentative nibble on a bagel, but its message is compelling: Eat something.

Filmed in comfortable upper-middle-class surroundings in Vancouver, under Paul Schneider’s laggardly pacing, the film tends to mope at times, as if there weren’t quite enough story for a two-hour slot. Given her own medical history, Gold’s identification with the anorexic Nancy cannot be doubted, and the views of her skin-and-bones physique are realistic. Her face, however, remains agreeably filled out. There’s just so much you can ask from a cast, however talented.

For the Love of Nancy

Production

ABC, Sun. Oct. 2, 9 p.m.

Crew

Camera, Eric Van Haren Norman; editor, Andrew Cohen; production designer, Jill Scott; music, Dan Slider. 120 MIN.

With

Cast: Tracey Gold, Jill Clayburgh, Cameron Bancroft, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Michael McCrae, Garwin Sanford, William Devane, Deanna Milligan, Marie Stillin, Kevin McNulty, Teryl Rothery, Henry O. Watson, Colin Cunningham, Glynis Davis, Terry King, Nancy McLure, Michelle Mardeaux, Melanie Blackwell, Donna Yamamoto, Catherine Zak, Leslie Hopps, Enuka Vanessa Okuma, Michael Buie, Chad Willett, David Adams, Sheelah Megill, Debbie Podowski, David Kaye, Shannon Powell, Peta Brookstone, Natino Bellatoni.

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