Nbc Monday Night at the Movies Danielle Steel’s Mixed Blessings

Filmed in Vancouver by the Cramer Co. and NBC Prods. Executive producer, Douglas S. Cramer; supervising producer, Dennis Hammer; director, Bethany Rooney; writers, L. Virginia Browne, Rebecca Soladay; based on the novel by Danielle Steel; camera, Mike Fash; editor, Janet Bartels-Vandagriff; production designer, Brent Thomas; sound, Martin Fossum; music, Mark Snow. TX:Cast: Gabrielle Carteris, Scott Baio, Bruce Greenwood, James Naughton, Alexandra Paul, Bruce Weitz, Julie Condra, Bess Armstrong, Barbara Tyson, Janne Mortil, Ocean Hellman, Nina Roman, Lesley Ewen, Michelle Beaudoin, Sarah Strange, Corrine Koslo, Justine Diewold, Barry Greene, Roger Allford, Hrothgar Mathews, Sheelah Megill , Michael Brock, Russell Hamilton, Elan Ross Gibson, Kavan Smith, Andrew Guy, Robyn Palmer, Byron Lucas, Michael Cram, Brenda Crichlow, Nicole Spinola, Sandy Tucker, Herman Poppe, Donna Yamamoto. Danielle Steel has cooked up a stew about contemporary couples and how they cope with possible parenthood. One wife doesn't want to get pregnant, two others do, while the three men involved are eager to be daddies. The routine characters slug their way through the angst under Bethany Rooney's thin direction; it's soap at its soapiest. Scott Baio begs to be a father partly because he was an orphan, but showgirl wife Julie Condra won't risk her no-go career by having a kid. Well, maybe divorced Alexandra Paul, who has a daughter and also was an orphan, will wander into Baio's life.

Filmed in Vancouver by the Cramer Co. and NBC Prods. Executive producer, Douglas S. Cramer; supervising producer, Dennis Hammer; director, Bethany Rooney; writers, L. Virginia Browne, Rebecca Soladay; based on the novel by Danielle Steel; camera, Mike Fash; editor, Janet Bartels-Vandagriff; production designer, Brent Thomas; sound, Martin Fossum; music, Mark Snow. TX:Cast: Gabrielle Carteris, Scott Baio, Bruce Greenwood, James Naughton, Alexandra Paul, Bruce Weitz, Julie Condra, Bess Armstrong, Barbara Tyson, Janne Mortil, Ocean Hellman, Nina Roman, Lesley Ewen, Michelle Beaudoin, Sarah Strange, Corrine Koslo, Justine Diewold, Barry Greene, Roger Allford, Hrothgar Mathews, Sheelah Megill , Michael Brock, Russell Hamilton, Elan Ross Gibson, Kavan Smith, Andrew Guy, Robyn Palmer, Byron Lucas, Michael Cram, Brenda Crichlow, Nicole Spinola, Sandy Tucker, Herman Poppe, Donna Yamamoto. Danielle Steel has cooked up a stew about contemporary couples and how they cope with possible parenthood. One wife doesn’t want to get pregnant, two others do, while the three men involved are eager to be daddies. The routine characters slug their way through the angst under Bethany Rooney’s thin direction; it’s soap at its soapiest. Scott Baio begs to be a father partly because he was an orphan, but showgirl wife Julie Condra won’t risk her no-go career by having a kid. Well, maybe divorced Alexandra Paul, who has a daughter and also was an orphan, will wander into Baio’s life.

Bess Armstrong and new husband James Naughton want a baby, but she may be too , er, mature. At any rate, his daughter thinks so. They turn to kindly Dr. Bruce Weitz for artificial insemination and surprises happen. Armstrong and Naughton have to drag through a tasteless, sophomoric scene as they giggle over Naughton’s part in the proceedings; Armstrong’s line leans to crude.

Main trouble with the telefilm, though, is that the characters aren’t interesting, have pallid backgrounds and don’t make convincing pairs. Armstrong, Baio, Naughton and Greenwood do their best, but it’s uphill. Most of the actors, veterans of episodic TV, deliver mechanical characterizations.

Director Rooney does pull an effective moment from child actor Michael Brock when the boy hears he’s about to be adopted; that at least is a heart tugger.

Production looks OK, but isn’t up to the usual Cramer special standards. Tech credits are fine, but the extra details and trappings are missing. Yet vidpic’s a time-passer for sentimentalists hard up for contrived plotting and old-hat mother-baby sudsers.

Nbc Monday Night at the Movies Danielle Steel's Mixed Blessings

(Mon. (11), 9-11 p.m., NBC)

Production: When Gabrielle Carteris, spoiled wife of decent sort Bruce Greenwood, hears she can't have a baby, she sulkily walks out on him and his feelings. As he succinctly says, "I don't believe this!"

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