ORIGINAL AIRDATE: APRIL 20TH 2013
It has been a very long time since a Lifetime movie actually made me sad or weepy. This movie made both of them happen and I regret nothing. The movie focuses on 5 different short stories (several of which overlap) about different types of mental illness and how families cope with the issues.
Out of all five, Brittany Snow, who stars as Lucy, is in three and does she ever shine in this. Her portrayal of a young law student with schizophrenia was so moving that it will stick with you for days after watching. Throughout the film, you witness her deal with her illness at a psychiatric hospital, at home with her parents and younger sister and in the final story you see how she turns out.
Another powerfully moving story features Oscar winner Melissa Leo as a mother struggling with bipolar disorder and how her college bound daughter Grace, portrayed by Modern Family
actress Sarah Hyland, has spent a lifetime watching her mother's highs and lows. Amazingly, her friends have no idea that anything is wrong with her mother - they just find her eccentric.
"Eddie" focuses on a depressed stand up comic whose wife (Lea Thompson) cannot find a way to talk to her husband about his issue. It's never addressed why Eddie is depressed, however, in the beginning of the segment, his wife is seen looking at a picture of herself and a young man on the refrigerator. This lead me to believe that perhaps they had a son who died, but it's never spoken about so that could just be me inferring something that wasn't there. Sadly, the story reminded me of the late great stand up comic, Richard Jeni, who took his own life after a serious battle with depression a six years ago.
The final story stars another Oscar winner. Jennifer Hudson portrays Maggie, an Army veteran who returns home and is suffering from PTSD after a traumatic and humiliating experience with her supervising officer.
Kudos for Jennifer Aniston for following up her amazing project, Five, which featured five short films about the devastation of breast cancer, with this fantastic film focusing on mental illness. The issue isn't pretty and is rarely talked about publically, but showing these stories reveals to everyone watching that you as viewer are not alone.