There are no surprises in Pamela Douglas’ tender, observant script –“Reality Bites the Brady Bunch”– but the insights are keen and sensibly paced in Matthew Diamond’s direction.
In a tidy middle-class house live hard-working Dad (Dan Lauria) and loyal Mom (Lindsay Crouse) with daughter Carla (A. J. Langer), perfect in body and pretty good in mind as well, though rebellious toward parental discipline, as 16 -year-olds are wont.
A cloud passes: Mom has breast cancer and needs radical surgery; rebellion ends, at least for the moment. Carla’s initial reaction to her mother’s affliction betrays her own range of adolescent concern: How can Dad go on living with a woman missing a breast? A final scene — Carla finally summoning the courage to help with Mom’s bandage — strikes an emotional chord not often encountered in after-school drama.
Maybe there’s hope for us yet.