Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Cupid & Cate (2000) [UR] ***

Cate (Mary-Louise Parker) is the youngest of four sisters. Her mother died when she was a child, the victim of cancer and alcohol abuse. Cate has grown up with a domineering father Dominic (Philip Bosco) who continually criticizes her, and three older sisters who try to tell her how to live her life.

To create some space for herself, Cate has opened a vintage and consignment clothing shop. She has a boyfriend Philip (David Lansbury) who's from an aristocratic, old-money family, although Cate doesn't understand what he sees in her, and she knows his parents don't approve of her. Then, at a family gathering Cate meets Harry (Peter Gallagher), an attorney who accepts her for herself and doesn't want to control her life.

Soon afterward, Philip proposes marriage, because it's the next logical step. Cate accepts, but as she gets to know Harry, and compares him with Philip, she sees how much Philip is like her father, criticizing her and controlling her. Cate makes a decision, and she and Harry get married. Then Harry is diagnosed with leukemia, and Cate discovers she's pregnant. Over the following year, Cate and Harry deal with his cancer, and her pregnancy, while tensions between Cate and her father escalate, until there's a pivotal scene at a family gathering. Sitting around the dining table, Cate's sisters realize that the only way they can keep the family together and move forward is to stand up to their father, in support of Cate.

Mary-Louise Parker and Peter Gallagher have subdued romantic chemistry, and there's a great supporting cast, including Cate's sisters Cynthia (Joanna Going) and Francesca (Bebe Neuwirth). If you like low-key, character-driven, female-centered, family-focused, multi-generational dramas like How to Make an American Quilt and Hope Floats then you probably will enjoy Cupid & Cate.

Labels: drama, romance
Internet Movie Database
Tomatometer (critics=NA, viewers=56)

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