Okay, this subject matter has been tackled many times in After School Specials and Made For TV movies. This time it's pretty well done. The story is high school girl (NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET's Amanda Wyss) is always making up excuses for her "sick" mother. Mom is usually at home getting drunk, passed out already or nursing a hang over. Because of this the girl has to keep friends away from the house, keep mom away from school (Yes, even during Open House and School Plays), take care of a younger brother and try to keep the family's dirty little secret a secret. During rehearsals for the School Play the girl realizes that a close male friend is also the child of alcoholic parents. Through him she learns about Ala-Teen and attends a meeting. There she learns that alcoholism is a disease, that we must learn to separate our feelings for the person and the problem, and that we can't MAKE an alcoholic quit: We just have to let them make their mistakes and hope they eventually seek out help. This movie made me cry! Guess it hit a little too close to home. (I won't go into personal details). I had seen this special as a kid and now watching it on the new After School Special DVD set I enjoyed getting to see it many years later through the eyes of an adult. Unlike some movies where the parent is just a Horror Show this special gave fair treatment to the mother....who did have moments of remorse for the bad things she did when drunk.(A family feud that breaks out during a game of SCRABBLE that ends with everyone in tears was the scene that really got to me). The end scene has brother and sister walking past passed out Mom to go rollerskating together. This seems like an odd way to end....but when you think about it, it's a lot more realistic than the shows where everyone's problems are solved in thirty minutes or less. Check it out.
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