A Time to Remember (2003)
Forgettable but Enjoyable
Everything unpleasant out of sight, that way it doesn't exist - Britt
As an artist and single mother Britt Calhoun (Dana Delany - Fly Away Home) is an independent spirit who likes living life on her own terms despite the father of her child wanting them to make a go of it as a proper family. When her sister Valetta (Megan Gallagher) invites her to return home to spend Thanksgiving as a family with their mother Maggie (Doris Roberts), Britt isn't entirely sure as she left with bitterness between her and her mother. But she returns and as she tries to reconcile with Maggie she learns that her mum is in the early stages of Alzheimer's Disease and to embarrassed to talk to her about it.
To be honest when ever I watch a Hallmark movie I am prepared for a storyline which will feel familiar and obvious and as such the obviousness of "A Time to Remember" never really becomes a problem. It doesn't take a genius to work out that something in the past has caused Britt to fall out with Maggie and it also doesn't take a genius to realise that Britt having been estranged from her mother is the only one who doesn't know that she has Alzheimer's Disease. And going on the theme that it doesn't take a genius, well it doesn't take a genius that when Britt discovers that her mother is suffering will be a catalyst for them to confront their issues to give us the uplifting ending that you expect before "A Time to Remember" even starts.
But the thing is that it doesn't matter that much of what happens in "A Time to Remember" is obvious because it has charm about it. You warm to those occasional moments when Britt and Maggie connect as they look through old photos and you smile over the way Maggie ends up frustrating Britt because quite frankly most children will have felt frustrated by a parent at least once in their life. And there is a genuine warmth to all that happens in this movie even in moments of drama as Britt just wants for her mother to show her approval of her and her son just once.
Now if that was all there was to "A Time to Remember" it would as a Hallmark movie feel incomplete because to be honest the words Hallmark and sentimental sort of go hand in hand. And that is the problem with "A Time to Remember" because in trying to deliver the emotion of the story be it Maggie dealing with Alzheimer's Disease or Britt and her mother patching things up it goes seriously too far. The various scenes which feature either Britt or Maggie admitting to their mistakes, often in front of friends, feel false as does the dialogue and whilst you feel some emotion you also find yourself trying not to laugh at how cheesy it is. And it is a shame as just a touch of restrain when it came to trying to deliver the emotion and "A Time to Remember" would have ended up more than just average.
As with the storyline to "A Time to Remember" the characters are just as obvious be it Britt being the more fun loving daughter of Maggie whilst her sister Valetta is straight laced. And then there is Maggie who to be honest is almost a walking cliche as she celebrates success in Valetta's life but then seems cold to Britt. But despite this the actual performances be it Doris Roberts' touching performance of Maggie and her struggle with Alzheimer's Disease or Dana Delany's equally touching performance as Britt who just wants approval are good. In fact they make what are really quite cliche characters interesting and easy to connect with.
What this all boils down to is that "A Time to Remember" is a touching movie which whilst having an obvious storyline is boosted by some solid performances. In pretty much every way it is a typical Hallmark movie and sadly like so many of these movies it suffers by being less than subtle but it is still an entertaining movie but like so many TV movies not overly memorable.
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