Home Song (1996) starring Lee Horsley, Polly Draper, Deborah Raffin, Ari Meyers, Stan Kirsch, Chris William Martin, Ken Pogue, Christopher Cazenove directed by Nancy Malone Movie Review

Home Song (1996)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Lee Horsley in Home Song (1996)

The Secret Son

Tom Gardner (Lee Horsley) was a respected member of the community as the High School Principal whilst also happily married with two children. But then a face from his past shows up in town, Monica Arins (Deborah Raffin) who he had a one night stand with just days before he got married. Monica has a son called Kent (Stan Kirsch) who Tom quickly realises is his son that he never knew existed, a situation he tries to keep quiet until Kent and Tom's daughter Chelsea (Ari Meyers) get friendly forcing Tom to confront the past which causes plenty of issues for everyone involved.

A few years ago the British soap opera "Emmerdale" had a story where there was a relationship which formed between two people who didn't realise that they are related due to secret affair that their parents had many years ago. That storyline could have been inspired by "Home Song" which has a very similar storyline of a respected principal and family man having to deal with a one night stand and a child he never knew about coming back to haunt him.

Deborah Raffin in Home Song (1996)

The thing about "Home Song" is that whilst the set up is obvious and goes down the easy to watch melodramatic route it creates a whole range of story ideas. There is the obvious one of Tom initially wanting to keep his secret love child just that but the ramifications of it are much more interesting. The drama of his daughter falling for her half brother, the revelation that Tom cheated on his wife just days before they were married, the hurt that Kent feels when he learns that Tom wanted to keep things quiet when he learned the truth. It is all there and the angles are explored in an entertaining way.

But "Home Song" is one of those TV Movies which rather than going for gritty realism goes for easy to watch melodrama which makes it incredibly false with all the cast coming across as a little too nice and happy. It is one of those things which makes "Home Song" an entertaining movie for those who enjoy the easy to digest drama of an afternoon TV movie but laughable for those who watch in the hope of real characters and depth from the issues and conflicts. As such the acting from everyone be it the bubbly Ari Meyers as Chelsea to the over acting of Lee Horsley is not great but then they look good which seems to have been important when casting TV movies back in the 90s.

What this all boils down to is that "Home Song" is a movie which has an obvious storyline and sets up some interesting ramifications from a one night stand. But it is all played out in the easy to watch style of a daytime TV movie rather than as a realistic thought provoking drama.