Picks and Pans Review: Fatal Memories

updated 11/09/1992 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/09/1992 01:00AM

NBC (Mon., Nov. 9, 9 P.M. ET)

C-

In another fact-based film, Shelley Long plays Eileen Franklin, a mother of two who suddenly begins to have horrifying childhood flashbacks of violence and sexual abuse, long-buried memories that lead eventually to her testimony in court that 20 years earlier her father had raped and murdered her 8-year-old best friend (PEOPLE, Nov. 4, 1991).

The impact of this provocative story is blunted by hammy acting. Long's inability to connect with the rest of the cast or her own character makes her unconvincing as parent, wife and, finally, as victim. Matters aren't helped by a bombastic, bucking-for-Bartlett's script. Before the trial, the prosecutor (Faith Daniels look-alike Helen Shaver) tells Long. "Eileen, I am here to support you in ever) way, but I cannot sit on that stand for you. It's your words the jury has to hear, your pain they have to feel, your courage they have to see."

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