Picks and Pans Review: Do You Remember Love

updated 05/20/1985 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/20/1985 AT 01:00 AM EDT

CBS (Tuesday, May 21, 9 p.m. ET)

It's been weeks, at least, since we've seen a tear-jerking, illness-or issue-oriented TV movie. Which means that Do You Remember Love can stand out as it should, as a tragic, touching story about Alzheimer's disease (see page 122). Joanne Woodward plays a respected, loved poet and prof. But she begins forgetting things. She turns suddenly and inexplicably hostile to her husband, Richard Kiley, and her mother, Geraldine Fitzgerald. Her university lectures take strange detours when she can't remember what her mouth was about to say: "As Oscar Wilde once said...who cares what he said?" Then she's diagnosed, and the doctor explains that she will "unlearn" mental and physical skills in a "backwards aging process." You watch it happen. Like Heartsounds, Do You Remember Love tears at you, demanding your compassion. At the end, when Woodward has to give a speech to admirers, your eyes will surely be wet. "I fear you have lost me," she says, "and I have lost myself." Here is spectacular, moving drama.

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