Review: ‘The Abc Sunday Night Movie Never Say Never: The Deidre Hall Story’

Story of soap celeb Deidre Hall's attempts to have a baby are the centerpiece of a routine meller based on the actress' story of how she conquered childlessness, in which the beauteous Hall plays herself. The goodwill everyone in Hollywood seems to have toward one another begins to grate, but viewers loving behind-the-scenes revelations will coo over this one.

Story of soap celeb Deidre Hall’s attempts to have a baby are the centerpiece of a routine meller based on the actress’ story of how she conquered childlessness, in which the beauteous Hall plays herself. The goodwill everyone in Hollywood seems to have toward one another begins to grate, but viewers loving behind-the-scenes revelations will coo over this one.

Hall’s dedication to mothering a baby is convincing and ultimately satisfactory. After countless attempts with her first husband (Raymond Baker), she and her second husband, studio chief-writer-producer Steve Sohmer (Daniel Hugh Kelly), take the surrogate route, with Eve Gordon playing fresh-faced Robin , who likes having babies. Hall’s unfailing graciousness goes along with her impeccable makeup as she copes with the empty years of childlessness.

Since it’s Hall’s story, details of Sohmer’s life are modestly kept to a minimum. The character count is kept down in the interest of concentrating on Hall’s struggles. The slick teleplay by Nancey Silvers and Bill Tynedale (actually a pseudonym for Sohmer) goes about its business with economy and purpose.

Connie Ray, playing Hall’s best friend Shane, bows out of the story with a pretty weak exit line, and there are other dangling plot moments. Marcus (Mark Lonow), Hall’s business manager, suddenly begins ailing with no explanation.

All the facts don’t seem to matter, and the characters live out their artificial lives with such proper attitudes that, with time, they could grind down teeth. Hall’s splendid, Kelly’s particularly effective as the patient husband, and Baker is solid as the strained first husband.

There’s jollity between Hall and real-life soap actor Wayne Northrop, and noted dress designer Nolan Miller puts in a flash cameo.

Director John Patterson has handled the traffic admirably, and tech credits are fine.

The Abc Sunday Night Movie Never Say Never: The Deidre Hall Story

(Sun. (10) , 9-11 p.m., ABC)

Production

Filmed by Stan Margulies Co., Panache Inc. and TriStar TV. Executive producers, Deidre Hall, Stan Margulies; producer, Terence A. Donnelly; director, John Patterson; writers, Nancey Silvers, Bill Tynedale; story, Silvers.

Crew

Camera, Ross A. Maehl; editor, Robert F. Shugrue; production designer, Roy Alan Amaral; sound, Chat Gunter; music, James Di Pasquale.

Cast

Cast: Deidre Hall, Daniel Hugh Kelly, Eve Gordon, Wayne Northrop, Lynn Herring, Connie Ray, Mark Lonow, Raymond Baker, Elaine Bronka, Robert Curtis-Brown, Cynthia Mace, Nolan Miller, James Greene, Suzanne Rogers, Joel Polis, Kate Williamson, Emily Kuroda, Andrea Hall Gengler.
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