Doing Time On Maple Drive

"OK"

Doing Time On Maple Drive Review


Doing Time on Maple Drive was originally made as a Fox TV movie of the week, but you'll swear it was produced by Lifetime. Talk about a dysfunctional family! There's enough soap here to fill a Palmolive factory.

Mix one part Ordinary People and one part The Great Santini, water it down with TV production values, add a dash of gay-teen after-school special, and you've got the Maple Drive formula. Dated even when it came out, the film's only worthwhile contribution to cinematic history is its casting of a young Jim Carrey in one of his only truly dramatic roles (and by the way, he's actually not bad).

The Carters of New England are a gloriously screwed-up bunch. Father Phil (James Sikking) is a military man who runs a tight ship and keeps his family on edge, especially his wife Lisa (Bibi Besch), who has probably spent the past 25 years looking for the right mix of uppers and downers to get her through her marriage to the cold SOB.

Oldest son Tim (Carrey) is a post-college failure living at home and drinking like a fish. He's a disgrace, and Dad lets him know it. Daughter Karen (Jayne Brook) is supporting her artist husband Tom (David Byron), and the youngest son, Yale student Matt (William McNamara), is Mom and Dad's pride and joy. In fact, he's engaged to the superperfect Allison (Lori Laughlin), and wedding plans are underway. Matt's only glitch: He's a closeted self-hating homosexual, and the upcoming nuptials are making him very nervous.

It's Matt who eventually becomes the focus of Maple Drive. After Mom walks in on him making out with his secret boyfriend, she goes into world-class denial, while Matt decides the sensible thing to do is to kill himself as quickly as possible by driving a car into a tree. He survives and calls it an accident, but when Tim finds out there were no skid marks near the tree, the truth is revealed. Matt outs himself, Allison smartly walks away from the whole mess, and Dad blows a gasket.

The interesting parts of Maple Drive kick in when family role reversals start to take place. Irresponsible Tim becomes a calm voice of reason, arguing that Matt should be free to be who he is. Dad actually listens and eventually becomes far more sympathetic to his plight than Mom, who's caught up in a full-fledged sex panic, ever does. One by one, the family members have it out with Dad until he slowly realizes that it's better to have a gay son than a dead son. To which most viewers, both gay and straight, will say, "Well, duh!"

What's irksome about the film is that in 2004, Dad's realization is stunningly obvious, and it would have been equally obvious in 1992 (although Fox has never been known as a bastion of liberalism). Maple Drive seems straight out of 1978, and that makes it annoying to watch in this day and age. Yes, it's interesting to see Dad go through a transformation, and yes, it's interesting to see Jim Carrey try out his dramatic chops, but there's not enough here to hold your interest for long.

Maple syrup.



Doing Time On Maple Drive

Facts and Figures

Run time: 92 mins

In Theaters: Monday 16th March 1992

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

IMDB: 7.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Tim Carter, as Phil Carter, as Lisa Carter, as Matt Carter

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Dunkirk Movie Review

Dunkirk Movie Review

Britain's epic 1940 evacuation of Dunkirk has been dramatised on film before, but no one...

Killing Ground Movie Review

Killing Ground Movie Review

From Australia, this dark and edgy thriller is skilfully made by writer-director Damien Power to...

City of Ghosts Movie Review

City of Ghosts Movie Review

This award-winning documentary plays like a thriller as it traces the work of a group...

Cars 3 Movie Review

Cars 3 Movie Review

It's been six years since the last Cars movie (there were two Planes movies in...

The Beguiled Movie Review

The Beguiled Movie Review

In her inimitable loose style, Sofia Coppola remakes the 1971 Clint Eastwood movie from a...

War for the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

War for the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

The surprisingly thoughtful prequel trilogy comes to a powerful conclusion with this robust, dramatic thriller,...

It Comes At Night Movie Review

It Comes At Night Movie Review

This sharply original horror film not only approaches its premise from an unexpected angle, but...

Advertisement
Okja Movie Review

Okja Movie Review

As Tilda Swinton reteams with her Snowpiercer director, Korea's Bong Joon Ho, it's perhaps unsurprising...

Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Review

Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Review

This may be the third reboot of this franchise in 15 years, risking audience exhaustion,...

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

Actually the fourth film in the series (don't forget the prequel Minions), this animated super-villain...

Baby Driver Movie Review

Baby Driver Movie Review

Wildly energetic and so cool it hurts, this action movie has been put together in...

All Eyez On Me Movie Review

All Eyez On Me Movie Review

There's a clear sense that this Tupac Shakur biopic is hoping to build on the...

Hampstead Movie Review

Hampstead Movie Review

Deliberately appealing to older audiences, this undemanding comedy-drama comes with a hint of social relevance...

The Book of Henry Movie Review

The Book of Henry Movie Review

Apparently, this offbeat script had been making the rounds in Hollywood for some 20 years...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.