- 1 hr 51 min
In this film, directed by Mary Agnes Donoghue (best known for Beaches, Deceived and White Oleander) we find married couple Ben (Don Johnson) and Lily (Melanie Griffith) struggling with their relationship since the devastating loss of their son. Neither Ben nor Lily has been able to come to terms with the tragedy and their marriage has become distant and lonely. Lily, specifically, has not recovered from her grief and remains consumed by the loss, while Ben has become increasingly frustrated with her refusal to move forward. In the meantime, you find ten-year old Willard Young (Elijah Wood) and his struggles with his absent father. He’s attending a private school on scholarship, and hasn’t seen his father for a while. He struggles socially and is afraid of most everything. His mother (Eve Gordon) sends him to stay with her childhood friend (Griffith’s Lily Reed) for the summer. It is here that meets Billie Pike (Thora Birch) who is haunted by her own absent father, whom she does not even know. The kids, while each coping with their own grief and confusion over their absent dads, form a deep friendship with each other. Soon enough, Lily and Ben realize that they aren’t just caring for a friend’s child but they learn to love Willard and allow themselves the opportunity to know each other again and rediscover their marriage and the happiness they left behind when their son was taken from them. One at a time, each of the characters begin to realize that what they’re looking for has been right in front of them they just needed each other to find it. Wood and Birch give outstanding performances, and their characters are captivating as you see their individual stories unfold. And, you’ll thoroughly enjoy watching Johnson as a man transitioning from a protective coldness to an open-hearted teddy bear.