Picks and Pans Review: On Thin Ice Lifetime

updated 11/10/2003 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/10/2003 01:00AM

(Mon., Nov. 3, 9 p.m. ET)

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"Calm down," the villain tells Diane Keaton's character late in this TV movie. Someone should have given Keaton that advice when the filming began.

Inspired by a true story, the drama centers on Patsy (Keaton), a struggling single mother of two in a depressed Midwest town. When she loses her job as a waitress in a greasy spoon and can't pay her younger son's medical bills, Patsy turns to low-level drug dealing and becomes addicted to crystal meth. The early scenes are effective at depicting the everyday humiliations of a hand-to-mouth existence, but Keaton soon turns the film into a one-woman orgy of crying, shrieking, raging and generally freaking out. "Lock me up in the apartment and don't let me out till I've kicked it," Patsy begs her boys. Keaton chews the scenery ravenously in the ensuing cold-turkey sequence-and still she's not satisfied. A wild-eyed Patsy winds up going after the local drug lord (Michael Rooker) with a shotgun, unintentionally engendering sympathy for the slimeball. It's one thing for Keaton to overemote, but no one should have to see her Rambo side.

DRAMA

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