Men Don't Leave

Film

Time Out says

When her husband dies in an explosion, leaving her with massive debts, two young sons and no visible means of support, Beth Macauley (Lange) moves to a cramped apartment in the city, where she lands a thankless job in a gourmet foodstore. While her younger son (Korsmo) takes to petty burglary, and teenage Chris (O'Donnell) finds solace with a young nurse (Cusack), Beth starts an affair with a musician (Howard); but progress is impeded as she gives way to delayed shock and declines into depression. What distinguishes this weepie is its deglamorised approach: all-consuming angst is anchored in the minutiae of everyday life and wry observation. While not without its occasional lapses into over-long sob sessions, Barbara Benedek and Brickman's intelligent script offers strong characterisations, and the performances - particularly from Lange and Korsmo - are excellent. Absorbing, truthful, and full of tender insight.

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