Pros: some good moments and gives well deserved credit to nursing
Cons: none for me
The Bottom Line: "Twenty five years have come and gone and she' seen a lot of tears of the ones who come in they really seem to need her there" ~Summer/Omartian
Life on Liberty Street tells the story of an ER nurse, burnt out on her job and inadequate care in the hospital where she is employed, simply quits and walks out. Take into account she is newly divorced and has a family to support, it may not have been the best move financially but certainly mentally and professionally it was.
At the hospital she was forced to ‘step in’ and take over when a gunshot victim comes into the ER and the intern on duty freezes and doesn’t do his job. Naturally, since she is ‘just a nurse’, she is the one that gets the reprimand and suspended without pay, even thought the patient lived. God forbid someone should step forward and actually save a life and face stepping on the internists toes, he is a doctor after all. So, she quits the position and then tries to find suitable employment.
Despite a drastic nursing shortage, that black stain on her record puts her in a bind and she turns to Liberty Street as a last resort. Liberty Street is also pretty much a last resort for the patients as well, all there because of traumatic brain injuries.
Nurse Denise makes almost instant contact with a patient, Rick, in his early twenties, that was a former football star and on track to begin a career at his father’s prestigious law firm. Denise quickly teaches him skills that will help him adapt and function in his new world, something that doesn’t bode well with his father. As is expected, Rick develops a crush on Denise which she tries to quell, especially once she starts dating the Liberty Street doc on call, Jake.
Overall the movie is rather simplistic, overly dramatic in parts, but still has some sympathetic scenes. The parts played by Annabeth Gish as Denise and Ethan Embry as Rick were well done with the material given to them. I thought Gish brought a humane side of the medical field, which I find present in far more nurses than doctors. Embry held true to his character although I think it must have been difficult at times.
Ed Begley, Jr. played the rather staunch and stiff father, Richard, Sr., in his usual manner. Although I have seen him in some roles where he was quite funny such as his part on the TV series Six Feet Under. I think the thing that makes Begley work so well in all his parts is the fact he isn’t that pretty boy actor, his countenance makes him much more human, more like the rest of the world, than those actors with their chiseled features.
Overall I thought director David S. Cass, Sr., along with writer Deborah Jones, gave nurses a little attention they so richly deserve and seldom get. The movie won no awards and carries no rating although I think it is easily a PG.