Picks and Pans Review: Our Sons
ABC (Sun., May 19, 9 P.M. ET)
Julie Andrews is a businesswoman in San Diego whose son (Hugh Grant) informs her that his lover (Zeljko Ivanek) is dying of AIDS. Grant asks her to fly to Arkansas and break the news to Ivanek’s trailer-park mom (Ann-Margret), who disowned her homosexual son years before.
Ann-Margret is adequate as a parochial woman in a bad platinum wig. Producer Robert Greenwald’s coup was in attracting Andrews to make her TV-movie debut. She brings enormous dignity and clarity to her role.
William Hanley’s intelligent, if slightly artificial, script locates the affection beneath the shame and fear Ann-Margret feels when regarding her son. But Hanley’s real accomplishment is in sounding the subtle undertones of hostility and denial in the love between Andrews and Grant.
While the movie is too talky and not poignant enough to be great television, it rates high for integrity.