7.1/10
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50 user 4 critic

Doing Time on Maple Drive (1992)

Absent father, alcoholic brother Tim try to cope with life.

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Nominated for 3 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 win. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Phil Carter (as James B. Sikking)
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...
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David Byron ...
Tom
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Philip Linton ...
Bennett Cale ...
Richard Israel ...
Student Actor
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George Roth ...
Parker Whitman ...
Danielle Michonne ...
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Storyline

A young college student returns from Yale to introduce his fiancée to his family. While there, the relationships between the various family members are tested, and the secrets hidden behind the seemingly "perfect family" front are brought to light. Written by Caleb Spring <crs2481@acs.tamu.edu>

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Drama

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16 March 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Faces in the Mirror  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Features an early, dramatic role by Jim Carrey. See more »

Quotes

Tom: How does it feel, Captain?
Phil Carter: What?
Tom: How does it feel to almost lose your child? How bad does it feel?
Karen: Tom...
Phil Carter: I don't know what gotten into you, Tom, but I don't think this is none of your concern.
Tom: I'm sorry, Phil, I'm 32 years old and you don't get to decide what concerns me. See, your standard of conduct might be the sufficient reason to lose your child, but I have to draw the line when it comes to losing mine.
Phil Carter: What children? You don't have any children.
Tom: No, I don't. I don't have any children. I ...
[...]
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Connections

References Rocky IV (1985) See more »

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User Reviews

Wonderful Family Values
14 October 2008 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

At first, the characters in this family melodrama all seem so ordinary and well adjusted. The dad (James Sikking) is financially successful, competitive, and something of a perfectionist. Mom (Bibi Besch) is motherly and traditional. One son is getting married. The other son has just a slight fondness for alcohol. And the daughter and her husband have returned for a pleasant visit, and to attend the family wedding. Our ideal family lives in a two-story house with manicured lawn on Maple Drive. As in the 1950's sitcom "Leave It To Beaver", all is peaches and cream, comfy and cozy, a household that is the very archetype of American family values.

But viewers are alerted to the shallowness of this overall image when the story's POV character tells another character: "See, he just has to be perfect. And if he isn't perfect, just keep it to yourself because I don't think anybody in this family wants to know". As secrets and anger surface, verbal conflict builds. And by the film's end, all these people are revealed to be complex, flawed, vulnerable, and hurting.

"Doing Time On Maple Drive" gets off to a slow start. I think the script setup might be a tad too long. And the writers could have been a little clearer about who is related to whom. Other than that, the script is well written and highly thematic. With rich characterization, the story conveys a realistic view of contemporary America, with its penchant for shallow idealism that overlays deep social and psychological turmoil. Although the dialogue seems a bit dated, it nevertheless has some good subtext.

Overall acting is quite impressive. I couldn't find any weak performances. It's nice to see Jim Carrey play a serious role; I wish he would do more drama. The film's color cinematography is adequate.

I have two complaints. First, the score consists of dreary, nondescript elevator music; second, sets seem cheap. However, this is after all a made-for-TV movie; visual breaks show where the commercials were inserted. And I can imagine that the budget here was fairly low.

But the film's strength is its script. "Doing Time On Maple Drive" is a poignant story that has genuine thematic depth. For what director Ken Olin set out to do, I think he succeeded quite well. Although there have been more recent films dealing with the same general topic, the high quality of this film makes it worth watching.


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