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A movie directed by Ulu Grosbard

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"There could be worse things than being dead"

  • Apr 22, 2000
Pros: Fairly good movie

Cons: none

It's been 2 hours and 25 minutes, has anyone seen my son? I just turned around for a few minutes to pay the cashier and he disappeared. I know he is just hiding somewhere, can you help me find him?

Four hours now...look again. He can't be far. Am I losing my mind here? Does anyone see what is happening?

It's been 6 hours, why haven't you found him yet? He is only 3 years old, he couldn't have gone far. Just look for him again, I know you will find him.

Oh God, it has been six weeks. No sign, no clue. Maybe if I just sit over here quietly no one will know that I lost my son. I can pretend I am just waiting for him to come home. If I hide here long enough, no one will notice I am slowly losing my mind. Didn't I just turn my back for a minute? Is it possible I lost him? Quiet, I will just sit here in the corner and wait for him.

Somewhere along the way I forgot I had a baby and another son. Who is taking care of them? I really don't care because I'm not here anyway.

Christmas, what a joke! How can they expect me to stand here and be patient, happy, loving. Can't they see I am slipping over the edge? Doesn't anyone else see that he is gone? Get rid of that damn tree, get rid of those presents. Don't look at me, I'm not really here.

Nine years...wow, how the time flies. Am I the only one still looking, still wondering? Am I the only one that still cares? When did Vincent get to be so tall, when did Carey grow up? Did I loose them all while I was looking for Ben? Doesn't matter because no one would believe me anyway.

Suddenly he is there...knocking on my door. Am I the only one that sees this, am I the only one that recognizes him? I stand looking at a grown boy, where has he been?

So evolves the story of "The Deep End of the Ocean". Starring Michelle Pfieffer and Treat Williams as the parents of Ben, who was kidnapped at Michelle's class reunion by one of her former classmates. He grew up and went to school with her other children and they were not even aware that he was their sibling (they had just moved to this area after nine years) but the older son had suspicions. He was feeling a little neglected since he was the one in charge of watching Ben when he disappeared.

As if their lives had not been in enough turmoil, the sudden reappearance of Ben throws the family and his adoptive family in the throes of agony. Do they keep him or let him return to his new family? Can they ask him to make this choice after all the trauma and can they make this choice.

You must feel the deep depression Pfieffer goes through, the despair, the loss. You wonder what you would do in this situation, how would you react? You pray for them and for the adoptive father who must now face a life without his son (their son). You feel the rejection of the other children in the family, watch the marriage falling apart, the family falling apart. Despite the ending, the movie is heart warming.

Also starring Whoppi Goldberg as the nose to the grindstone detective that never gives up looking for the lost Ben and in the end becomes a good friend of Michelle's. She is one of the few people in the movie that sees through Michelle's cover of the mom with her life under control.

Not only is this a terrifying tale but also insight into family life and love. It is heart wrenching to watch this boy, now grown, face the reality that he must now be the one that makes choices. And how these choices will impact his family, his adoptive family and himself.

In order to fully appreciate this movie, I recommend you read the book by the same name, written by Jacqueline Michard. Her writing style in the book is both painful and fulfilling.


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Susi Dawson ()
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About this movie


Pfeiffer delivers an impassioned performance as a mother whose son has been kidnapped. Ten years later, she finds out that he is still alive and living in the same town. Based on the novel by Jacquelyn Mitchard.
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Cast: John Kapelos
Director: Ulu Grosbard
Release Date: 1999
MPAA Rating: PG-13
DVD Release Date: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (August 10, 1999)
Runtime: 1hr 45min
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