Ken Tucker
March 25, 1994 AT 05:00 AM EST

A well-made, sentimental melodrama, The Yarn Princess stars Designing Women‘s Jean Smart and Murphy Brown‘s Robert Pastorelli as the lower-middle-class parents of six sons ranging in age from 2 to 17. Smart’s Margaret is said by one character to have ”borderline retardation”; Margaret describes herself as ”a slow person.” Over the course of the movie, Pastorelli’s Jake suffers from increasingly intense schizophrenia. As his condition worsens, state authorities threaten to separate the boys and place them in foster homes, and The Yarn Princess becomes the story of Margaret’s heroic attempts to prove herself capable of raising her sons. The TV movie benefits greatly from the carefully modulated script by coproducer Dalene Young and the quiet performances of Smart and Pastorelli. In what will probably be taken by some as a terrible example of liberal media bias, one of the heroes of Yarn Princess is an ACLU lawyer, played by Dennis Boutsikaris (The Jackie Thomas Show), who comes to Margaret’s defense. B

You May Like