Not quite a weepy despite its drippy score and feel-good ending, this adaptation of Anna Quindlen's novel is less about bereavement than the preliminaries thereto. Its theme is the sheer inconvenience which a dying family member, no matter how loved, represents. When it becomes clear that Mother (Streep) has terminal cancer, her son seems to fade from the scene, her college professor husband clings stubbornly to his routine, and it's left to the daughter (Zellweger) to put her life on hold for the duration. The script shifts audience sympathies about quite adroitly, though it's a pity all the men had to be such humbugs. Franklin's lyrical evocation of small town life and Streep's lavishly mannered performance disrupt the project in not uninteresting ways.