Picks and Pans Review: Promise
updated 12/15/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 12/15/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST
James Garner, playboy real estate agent, returns home to the farm for his mother's funeral. There we learn about Garner's promise to her: He will take care of his schizophrenic adult brother, James (Against All Odds) Woods. "I don't have responsibilities, not like that," Garner complains. "I don't even have goldfish." Garner discovers that his brother is crazier than he'd thought, always washing his hands four times before eating, ordering every Ronco product advertised on TV, going through manic periods and through depressions. Garner tries to make the arrangement work but finally gives up, sells the family farm and uses the cash to put his brother in a home. The moral of the story is muddled. Since neither causes nor cures for schizophrenia are known, the movie can't want us to do much about the ailment. All Promise seems to say is that if we have a sick relative, we should be lucky enough to have a farm to sell.