Written by / 6/18/2014 / 1 Comment / , , , , , , , ,

STACEY NELKIN IN THE TV MOVIE 'CHILDREN OF DIVORCE'

1980 rating: ***1/2
Stacey Nelkin is a cult actress known as the ingénue from HALLOWEEN 3, the pretty starlet in YELLOWBEARD, and last and certainly least, Tony Danza’s girlfriend in GOING APE… But for some earlier Nelkin cinema you’ll have to downsize to the small screen… 

In the TV movie, CHILDREN OF DIVORCE, Stacey plays Andrea Hoffman, one of several young folks with bickering parents on the verge of, or already taking an active part in, breaking up their marriage...

Stacey Nelkin gets the Opening Credit shot
This includes, among a laundry list of recognizable faces, GET SMART star Barbara Feldon who, playing Andrea’s upper class mother now having to find a menial job, has the most interesting storyline. It's the wife, not the children, with the biggest character arc throughout. Although Andrea’s transition has a few layers: from a bullied snob at a new public high school to a popular wannabe making marijuana references in class, she eventually hooks up with classical guitar protégé Tony, played by Lance Kerwin (David Soul’s young sidekick in SALEM’S LOT a year earlier). Tony's mom, Stella Stevens, has the smallest and least important role as a beauty shop owner struggling to make split-ends meet…

Suzanne Crough
As a young couple, the boy-next-door Kerwin and the gorgeous brunette Nelkin are a mismatched pair in a subplot that could have been better had more attention been given. Instead they're peripheral compared to other kids including pre-FACTS OF LIFE Kim Fields as an Olympic hopeful stealing dad Billy Dee Williams' booze, and her friendship with Andrea’s overweight little brother...

Sounds like a ton of familiar names meshed within a soap operatic template, and it is, sure, but CHILDREN OF DIVORCE... also featuring grownup PARTRIDGE FAMILY actress Suzanne Crough, a cheerleader giving a heartfelt monologue, and edgy newcomer Traci Rae as Andrea's group therapy friends... is a surprisingly decent movie – imagine if THE LOVE BOAT got serious and mated with an AFTERSCHOOL SPECIAL…  This would be its firstborn.
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1 comment:

  1. Hey James, excellent site! Just found it off an IMDB thread. It appears we have similar tastes in film, god help us, but have you seen Serial (1980)? Stacy Nelkin plays a new-age nymphomaniac to Martin Mull's frustrated-but-yearning Marin County yuppie. She's not a main character but she is memorable as usual. Great flick, too, watch if you haven't. Cheers!

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