Picks and Pans Review: Little Girl Lost

updated 04/25/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 04/25/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

ABC (Mon., April 25, 9 p.m. ET)

D

It looks like a TV show but it really is a corporate good deed—"A General Foods Golden Showcase Presentation." You can imagine what the company's executives wanted: something sincere, hopeful and heartwarming from the heartland, with no sex, drugs or rock and roll but with a happy ending. They wanted their own Hallmark Hall of Fame. What they got instead was an imitation Hallmark card, one of those real flowery ones with purple print and paper lace. Tess Harper and Frederic Forrest play salt o' the earth farm folk who raise a darling foster child whom they are dying to adopt. But then the girl is torn away from them by mean bureaucrats who send her back to an abusive father. The issue is a serious and sad one. Too bad it is confined to such an inept movie. These characters are paper dolls cut out with dull, round-edged scissors by a cast guilty of felonious overacting. Harper and Forrest just keep screaming like hyenas in pain or awshucksing themselves silly—"We're not all that much up on the law," Forrest says, " 'cept for stoppin' at red lights." What a sticky, gooey, sweetsy mess.

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