Based on a true story and originally made for TV (where it ran 130 minutes), this contains some redeeming features behind its blandness. At worst it's the Love Story of the Woodstock generation, with its couple and their alternative society patronisingly depicted for a mass audience (John Denver's songs being entirely consistent with this vision). Its plot - young, beautiful mother, dying from a malignant tumour - for the most part places the film firmly in the realms of Hollywood's Terminal Casebook. However, Carol Sobieski's script manages to hint at deeper things. Kate, the heroine (Raines), appears sympathetic and misguided in turns, and the tensions that her illness cause are treated with some integrity. Equally, the sustained and irritating zaniness of her husband (De Young) in the face of something he can't and doesn't want to comprehend is absolutely right. She is left recording her thoughts into a tape recorder while he has an affair with the neighbour. That she dies a human being, rather than in the angelic limbo usually reserved for such occasions, remains some sort of achievement. But the valid confusions of the script become dissipated by the direction. Thus, in the context of Sargent's pedestrian direction, Kate's 'Life was just so incredibly beautiful' takes on an unintended irony.
Cast and crew
Cliff De Young