Based on a true 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.
The story itself 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.
Under Paul Schneider’s laggardly pacing, the film tends to mope at times as if there wasn’t enough story for a two-hour slot.
Given her own medical history, Gold’s identification with 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.