Lifestories: Families in Crisis More Than Friends: the Coming Out of Heidi Leiter

Latest in HBO's worthy "Lifestories" series, which dramatize real-life family crises, revolves around teenage homosexuality and the right of a young woman to assert herself. When high-schooler Heidi Leiter comes out, it has nothing to do with daddy waltzing her at the cotillion.

With:
Cast: Sabrina Lloyd, Kate Anthony, Wendy Way, W.T. Martin, Claire Danes, Dr. Joy Browne, Brenda Currin, Lisa M. Gordon, Amy Pierce, Abigail Morgan, George Griffith, Brian Gaskill, Angela Baker, Louis Cantarini, Bill Doyle, Bunny Levine , Lennie Loftin, Denice Nortez, Vanessa J. Wells.

Latest in HBO’s worthy “Lifestories” series, which dramatize real-life family crises, revolves around teenage homosexuality and the right of a young woman to assert herself. When high-schooler Heidi Leiter comes out, it has nothing to do with daddy waltzing her at the cotillion.

Writer Bruce Harmon uses flashbacks as Heidi (Sabrina Lloyd) and Missy (Kate Anthony) are on their way via limo to a TV talkshow where they’ll discuss their lives. Story flashes back to trace their growing involvement with each other, Heidi’s concerned parents taking her to a psychologist, and Heidi taking Missy to the senior prom.

The psychologist bit doesn’t prove much, and Harmon has written a clumsy scene in which toughs threaten the pair. Otherwise he’s devised an involving story that should provoke discussion.

Director Juan Jose Campanella brings several enlightening moments vividly to life — particularly one between Heidi and her confused mother (Wendy Way), who finds out her daughter doesn’t want to talk anymore.

The characters are genuine and sympathetic — except for the toughs, of course. Lloyd gives a strong perf, and Anthony is persuasive. Way and W.T. Martin are on-target as the parents.

Production looks smart, with tech credits superior.

Lifestories: Families in Crisis More Than Friends: the Coming Out of Heidi Leiter

(Mon. (7), 9:45-10:45 p.m., HBO)

Production: Filmed by Turtleback Prods. and the Entertainment Group. Producers, Frank Doelger, Howard Meltzer; director, Juan Jose Campanella; writer, Bruce Harmon.

Crew: Camera, Daniel Shulman; editor, Darren Kloomok; production design, Jocelyne Beaudoin; sound, Paul Cote; music, Wendy Blackstone.

Cast: Cast: Sabrina Lloyd, Kate Anthony, Wendy Way, W.T. Martin, Claire Danes, Dr. Joy Browne, Brenda Currin, Lisa M. Gordon, Amy Pierce, Abigail Morgan, George Griffith, Brian Gaskill, Angela Baker, Louis Cantarini, Bill Doyle, Bunny Levine , Lennie Loftin, Denice Nortez, Vanessa J. Wells.

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