Showtime’s “Bobbie’s Girl” is all character and situation and no plot. Pic, starring Bernadette Peters, Rachel Ward and Jonathan Silverman, just meanders along, picking up indefinite thematic shards but never exploring them with any depth.
Story takes place in Ireland, although the main characters aren’t Irish, and director Jeremy Kagan (“The Color of Justice”) and cinematographer Ciaran Tanham take no advantage of the potential for the picturesque.
English transplant Bobbie (Ward) and American transplant Bailey (Peters) are a gay couple who run a pub by the beach along with Bailey’s brother David (Silverman). Bobbie’s the practical one, Bailey and David the eccentrics, both former actors from New York.
Two events coincide to prod the characters out of stasis: Bobbie’s estranged brother and his wife die in a car crash, orphaning their 10-year-old son Alan (Thomas Sangster), who comes to live at the pub, and Bobbie is diagnosed with breast cancer. Bobbie and Alan must come to terms with loss, while Bailey encourages them with her optimistic American sensibility and theatrical quirkiness.
Ward spends much of the film looking dour and disturbed, not giving much life to Bobbie’s internal battle with the limits of her mortality. Sangster is actually far more compelling, and his scenes are the only ones that contain any soulfulness. Peters and Silverman work hard at being unrelentingly peppy.
Kagan never quite finds the pixilated sensibility the work seems to need, while writer Samuel Bernstein strains for a climax. The one thing “Bobbie’s Girl” does have going for its subdued treatment of the lesbian relationship — these characters don’t need to be lesbians for any plot point, they just are.