This second remake of Stella Dallas updates the story, with Stella (Midler) a single parent struggling through the '70s who still makes the ultimate sacrifice, giving up her daughter in the interest of the latter's social advancement. Handsome doctor Stephen Dallas (Collins) first notices bartender Stella when she leaps on the bar to do a mock striptease routine. Becoming pregnant, she fiercely rejects his offers of marriage or financial support. Years later, their teenage daughter Jenny (Alvarado) grows weary of mother's bad dress sense, and the ultimate humiliation comes when Stella is arrested outside a local bar. Off she goes to Dad and prospective stepmother (Mason) for blueberry pancakes and cocktails. Whatever challenge existed in rendering the class conflict credible has been missed: Robert Getchell's script milks the story for maximum tears, but wrestles unsuccessfully with the inherent absurdity of Stella's predicament, delivering clichéd situations and dialogue. And Midler's larger-than-life performance is daunting against the subtler approaches of Alvarado and Mason.
Cast and crew