Picks and Pans Review: The Truth About Jane

updated 08/07/2000 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/07/2000 01:00AM

Lifetime (Mon., Aug. 7, 9 p.m. ET)

"You know you can tell me anything," Janice (Stockard Channing) assures daughter Jane (Ellen Muth). And we know never to believe those words from a parent in a TV movie. When teenage Jane reveals—after much agonizing—that she's a lesbian, Janice starts acting like a first-class homophobe. Her reaction seems fairly extreme given that one of Janice's two best friends is a gay man (RuPaul Charles) and the other (Jenny O'Hara) says, "You've always been so liberal-minded."

Muth gives a highly sympathetic performance that compensates for Jane's intrusive narration, which tends to explain emotions the actress has already made manifest. The filmmakers' intentions are so good that you want the drama to be better, but its flaws prove hard to overlook. Jane's high school counselor (Kelly Rowan) is too perfect, the character of Janice's husband (James Naughton) is too ambiguous, and the teleplay is too intent on effecting a neat family reconciliation.

Bottom Line: Well-meant but disappointing

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