Melissa Pierson
April 25, 1997 AT 04:00 AM EDT

To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
runtime
93 minutes
performer
Peter Gallagher, Michelle Pfeiffer, Claire Danes, Seth Green, Freddie Prinze Jr.
director
Michael Pressman
distributor
Columbia Tri-Star
author
David E. Kelley
genre
Drama, Romance

We gave it a B-

To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday is an emotionally jam-packed experience: Not only is Dad (Peter Gallagher) always out on the moonlit Nantucket beach cavorting with Mom (Michelle Pfeiffer) despite the fact that she’s been dead for two years, but their daughter (Claire Danes) is contending with teenage sexuality and a conflicted desire for independence. Now add meddling in-laws (Kathy Baker and Bruce Altman) who try to set the grieving widower up on a blind date even while avoiding the possible dissolution of their own marriage (exacerbated by a comely young thing in a thong). Then again, given the script’s klieg-lit straining toward ”contemporary wit,” maybe it’s not jam-packed so much as empty. Although it’s a gyp at theater prices, the contrived romance goes down more easily now that it’s easier on the pocket. B-

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