Picks and Pans Review: In Sickness and Health
Here's the benign version of The Hand That Rocks the Cradle. Tom Skerritt plays a Texas man who hires an attractive young widow (Marg Helgenberger) to help his wheelchair-bound wife (Lesley Ann Warren), who suffers from multiple sclerosis. The wife grows to like her, the husband even more so. Only the couple's teenage daughter (Robyn Lively) resents the new presence in their life.
Helgenberger shines in a provocatively written role. Her free-spirited post-hippie dutifully listens to head-banger music ("I try to keep up on new music. I mean, heavy metal is the hardest, but it just seems like you gotta stay current, right?") and drives an old VW bus that she names after a character from Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead.
This story of an affair and its aftermath is not all that eventful—even with the complication of Warren's illness. What makes it touching is that it's happening to people who seem so nice and so real.