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Picks and Pans Review: Cupid & Cate

updated 05/08/2000 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/08/2000 AT 01:00 AM EDT

CBS (Sun., May 7, 9 p.m. ET)

Cate (Mary-Louise Parker) has a boring boyfriend who doesn't know the meaning of romance. Suddenly a perfect new suitor (Peter Gallagher) appears, but for some reason she's wary. "Harry is charming, handsome and smart—it's okay to like him," one of her three sisters advises. At which point, you're thinking: If this is Cate's biggest problem, she's one lucky woman.

Ah, wait. Illness casts a shadow over Cate and Harry's rosy relationship. Then pregnancy brings out the sun again—until Cate is forced to come to terms with her difficult, widowed dad (Philip Bosco). Cupid & Cate has all the elements of soap opera; in fact, one of the minor characters is the Active star of a daytime serial. But the film is at least partially redeemed by a sense of restraint and a talented (not to say overqualified) cast, which also includes Bebe Neuwirth as Cate's doctor sister and Brenda Fricker as her wise older friend.

Bottom Line: Satisfactory suds

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