Picks and Pans Review: Follow the Stars Home

updated 05/07/2001 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/07/2001 AT 01:00 AM EDT

CBS (Sun., May 6, 9 p.m. ET)

This disappointing Hallmark Hall of Fame production (taken from a Luanne Rice novel) has a number of angles to explore, but its essential shape turns out to be an all-too-familiar triangle: Two brothers—one virtuous, one feckless—are in love with the same woman. She falls for Brother Wrong, carrying a torch for him even after he deserts her. But Brother Right remains steadfast and available.

What's unusual here is why the bad brother pulls his disappearing act. Mark (Eric Close) walks out on wife Dianne (Kimberly Williams) after learning that the baby they're expecting has severe genetic abnormalities. Dianne is nonetheless determined to bear the child, with support from her mother (Blair Brown) and Mark's brother David (Campbell Scott), a pediatrician whose love for Dianne is unspoken but obvious. How do they cope with the challenges of raising this little girl named Julia? The answers are sketchy because Follow the Stars Home skips over the first five-plus years of her life. The film is far more concerned with nudging Dianne and David closer together and building a relationship between Dianne and Amy (Alexa Vega from Spy Kids), the 12-year-old "mother's helper" who lends a hand with Julia. When a crisis brings Mark back into the picture, the pat resolution may satisfy some viewers but will surprise none.

Bottom Line: Follows a safe course

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