Facing Fatherhood Alone

Andrew McCarthy in A Father for Brittany (1998)

When Kim Lussier (Teri Polo) learns she can't have kids her husband Keith (Andrew McCarthy) agrees to go the adoption route, but in truth hanging with the guys tends to dominate his life rather than passing the red tape when it comes to the adoption requirements. Whilst Kim and Keith pass and are chosen to adopt a Korean girl who they baptize as Brittany they kept something hidden, Kim has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. When the adoption agency discover Keith is acting as a single parent to the adopted child they try to invoke a clause they have about no single parents and move Brittany to another family. Despite having always preferred hanging with the guys, Keith, supported by his parents and his in-laws try to fight the agency so that he can remain a single dad to Brittany.

Something struck me whilst writing this review of "A Father for Brittany", they don't tend to make these types of TV movies anymore where you not only having a single parent battling to manage on their own but one where they also have to fight the system to keep hold of their child. Back in the 90s these types of movie seemed a dime a dozen and when I think of those other 90s TV movies I have to say that "A Father for Brittany" doesn't really stand out from the crowd even with the enjoyable casting of Teri Polo and Andrew McCarthy.

I suppose part of the trouble with "A Father for Brittany" is that it is all too predictable as you know the minute we meet Keith with his laid back attitude he is going to struggle when it comes to parenthood, especially as he often, semi-comically, lets Kim down because he is with the guys. But of course you know becoming a dad is going to change him, making a better man even when he also has to deal with the grief of losing his wife. It's not that either McCarthy or Polo do a bad job, it is a case that most of this movie feels like it has been made to the standard TV movie formula with plenty of sentiment.

What this all boils down to is that "A Father for Brittany" ends up a pretty standard touchy, emotional family drama from the 90s, the sort which back then seemed a dime a dozen. There is nothing wrong with it yet at the same time there is nothing which makes it stand out from the crowd.

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