You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Oprah Winfrey Presents: Mitch Albom’s For One More Day

This latest ABC movie blessed by daytime's queen should deliver in the ratings and buttress Mitch Albom's reputation as one of our foremost purveyors of cultural baby food.

Charles "Chick" Benetto - Michael Imperioli Posey Benetto - Ellen Burstyn Len Benetto - Scott Cohen Young Posey - Samantha Mathis Young Chick - Vadim Imperioli Rose - Alice Drummond Maria - Emily Wickersham

Executing a rare double possessive flagging the brand-name talent involved — “Oprah Winfrey Presents Mitch Albom’s For One More Day” — this latest ABC movie blessed by daytime’s queen should deliver in the ratings and buttress Albom’s reputation as one of our foremost purveyors of cultural baby food. Even sappier than the author’s teeth-rotting “The Five People You Meet in Heaven,” Albom has drifted from “Tuesdays With Morrie” to “One More Day With Mommy,” delivering another fuzzy lecture about family and spiritual uplift. A wannabe three-hankie affair, it’s mostly enough to make you wish he’d stuck to sportswriting.

Proving there’s not just life but a vapid afterlife following “The Sopranos,” Michael Imperioli (who also co-starred in Albom’s “Heaven”) stars as a washed-out baseball player named Chick who has become an alcoholic, made a mess of his life and is ready to cash it all in with a bullet. Suddenly, he’s visited by his late mother, Posey (Ellen Burstyn), who beatifically leads him through a sort-of “It’s a Crappy Life (But Not Really, if You Have Family)” stroll down memory lane.

In those flashbacks, we see young Chick (played by the actor’s son, Vadim Imperioli) caught between the young Posey (Samantha Mathis) and his stern, demanding father (Scott Cohen), who seeks to toughen the lad so he can become a pro and lead a life less ordinary. Ah, but what is “ordinary,” especially if that means alienating the people who should be dearest to you?

Adapting his own paper-thin book, Albom and director Lloyd Kramer tackle the material with conviction and, thanks to the technical crew, bring a meticulous look to the period scenes. They also benefit from solid performances by Burstyn and Mathis in their shared role as well as from Lennie Niehaus’ score.

Even so, it’s difficult to redeem greeting-card dialogue like “When somebody’s in your heart, they’re never truly gone,” or the fact that every beat of the Capra-esque story is telegraphed with a saccharine-sweet sense of how it’s all going to pan out.

With the major networks largely abandoning the TV movie business, only a few niche offerings still survive, with “Oprah Winfrey Presents” becoming ABC’s answer to “The Hallmark Hall of Fame” as a seal of wholesomeness, if not necessarily quality. And while there’s no denying the Midas touch that Winfrey wields commercially — or, for that matter, the feel-good niche that Albom has carved out for himself — “For One More Day” is yet another groan-inducing reminder how all that glitters is not gold.

Oprah Winfrey Presents: Mitch Albom's For One More Day

ABC, Sun. Dec. 9, 9 p.m.

Production: Filmed in Connecticut and New York by Harpo Films. Executive producers, Kate Forte, Oprah Winfrey; supervising producer, M. Blair Breard; director, Lloyd Kramer; writer, Mitch Albom, based on his book.

Crew: Camera, Tami Reiker; editor, Igor Kovalik; music, Lennie Niehaus; production designer, Clark Hunter; casting, Sheila Jaffe. 120 MIN.

Cast: Charles "Chick" Benetto - Michael Imperioli Posey Benetto - Ellen Burstyn Len Benetto - Scott Cohen Young Posey - Samantha Mathis Young Chick - Vadim Imperioli Rose - Alice Drummond Maria - Emily Wickersham

More TV

  • Kelly Abcarian - Nielsen

    Nielsen Forms Addressable TV Ad Group After Buying Sorenson Media's Assets for $11.25 Million

    Nielsen thinks it has the pieces in place to finally drive up the scale of addressable TV advertising, targeted based on a television household’s profile the way internet ads have been served for years. The media-measurement firm has formed Nielsen Advanced Video Advertising, a new group focusing on developing addressable advertising initially for internet-connected smart [...]

  • Telefonica’s Movistar + Ups Pay TV

    Telefonica’s Movistar + Ups Spanish Pay TV Growth by 28% in 2018

    MADRID —  Telefonica, the European telecom which has made the largest bet on content over the last two years, saw a 6% year-in-year growth in pay TV customers in Spain, the country where that drive is most noticeable, Telefonica confirmed on a Thursday conference call, walking analysts through its full-year 2018 results. Net subscriber additions [...]

  • Name Of The Rose

    Germany's Tele München Group Sold to Investment Firm KKR

    Global investment firm KKR has acquired Tele München Group, one of Germany’s largest television businesses. The surprise deal was announced Thursday. New York-based global investor KKR has holdings in multiple sectors, including infrastructure, energy and real estate. Tele München Group, or TMG, is active in both production and distribution; its projects include the highly anticipated [...]

  • UCLA Hollywood Diversity Report: Women, Minorities

    Hollywood Diversity Gains in TV but Falls Short in Movies

    Minorities and women have registered gains in several key areas of television but women continue to lag in movies, according to a report issued Thursday by the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA. “My basic take is that TV is improving more for minorities and women than film,” said Dr. Darnell [...]

  • 60 Minutes" reporter Lara Logan takes

    Lara Logan Says She's Been 'Targeted' for Her Claims of Liberal Media Bias

    Former CBS News foreign correspondent Lara Logan appeared on “Hannity” Wednesday evening to expand on her recent remarks characterizing the media as “mostly liberal.” “It’s obvious, right, because you get targeted,” she said, explaining her earlier comments that she was committing “professional suicide” by criticizing the media. “It’s the same group of people, they’re already [...]

  • Jussie Smollett

    'Empire' Producers Consider Suspending Jussie Smollett (EXCLUSIVE)

    Fox is considering removing Jussie Smollett from production on “Empire.” Sources close to the production told Variety that producers are weighing whether to suspend the actor after he was charged Wednesday in Chicago with filing a false police report. A spokesperson for 20th Century Fox Television, which produces the series, declined to comment. Smollett’s status on [...]

  • Game of Thrones Final Season: Best

    The Best 'Game of Thrones' Merch to Get You Ready for the New Season

    We’re just weeks away from the premiere of the final season of “Game of Thrones,” and whether you’re a die-hard fan, on the hunt for a novelty gift, or a serious collector hoping to nab some memorabilia before the series signs off for good, we’ve found 10 pieces of merch that pay tribute to one [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content