Table for Five | Chicago Reader

Table for Five

Once Kramer vs. Kramer set the style, family melodramas became more and more concerned with the elimination of the mother; this one, directed by Robert Lieberman from a script by David Seltzer (Six Weeks), takes a brutally explicit tack, bumping off mom in a car wreck in order to allow estranged father Jon Voight to reconquer the affections of his three children. The rest of the film follows the established formula, as the good-for-nothing Voight matures in his new responsibility, another mother figure (Marie-Christine Barrault) is quietly dismissed. Calculated and, just beneath the surface, quite cruel, this is yet another emotionally dishonest film about emotional honesty. With Millie Perkins and Richard Crenna (1983).

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