July 20, 1992 12:00 PM

Lifetime (Tues., July 21, 9 P.M. ET)


Even the title reminds you of those navel-gazing feminist self-discovery movies from the 1970s, the kind that generally starred Jill Clayburgh or Susan Anspach.

This movie, based on Robert Anderson’s 1979 novel, presents the mid-life crisis of a lawyer (Tom Skerritt) with a wife (Blythe Danner) in the country and a married mistress (Roma Downey) in the city. The plot thins as his enthusiasm for both his work and his relationships starts to dim. Then Skerritt takes a summer teaching position that provides him with just what he needs: another romantic entanglement (with Julianne Phillips).

Besides being anachronistic, the movie is also sedate, self-conscious and talky (Danner tells Skerritt the morning after asking for a separation: “And the lovemaking was your proof, reassurance to yourself and to me that you still love me”). Viewing the movie is like watching someone else play a long, senseless parlor game. Skerritt stars in one of next fall’s more promising series: Picket Fences on CBS. Wait for that.

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