Picks and Pans Review: Monday After the Miracle

updated 11/16/1998 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/16/1998 AT 01:00 AM EST

CBS (Sun., Nov. 15, 9 p.m. ET)

The most we can say for Monday After the Miracle is that it serves as an adequate acting vehicle for CBS series stars Moira Kelly (To Have & to Hold) and Roma Downey (whose Touched by an Angel precedes this TV movie). Otherwise, William Gibson's 1982 Broadway flop was hardly worth adapting.

A sequel to Gibson's The Miracle Worker, the turgid drama picks up the true story of Helen Keller (a sweet, sympathetic Kelly) in the early 1900s. Thanks to the efforts of personal tutor and best friend Annie Sullivan (Downey, flinty but vulnerable), deaf and blind Helen is successfully pursuing college studies. After a professor urges her to submit her essays for publication, Helen takes on a literary collaborator: a smooth dreamboat named John Macy (blandly played by Bill Campbell from The Rocketeer).

John soon falls in love with Annie, who agrees to marry him on the condition that Helen will share their home and "always comes first." On her wedding day, Annie realizes that "This is a mistake. Three people can't be married." The rest of the film slowly proves her right.

Some of the dialogue involving Helen is heard in voice-over as the characters are shown communicating in sign language. But the talk sounds especially artificial when John moves his lips. "Let me into your bed, my fierce Annie," says he, by way of a proposition. Later John announces: "Something is dying in this house, and it's me." Then go quietly, if you please.

Bottom Line: No dramatic miracles performed here

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