Rebecca Davitch is the centerpiece of this family that she inherited when she married Joe Davitch all those years ago. He captured her heart with his charisma, and despite the fact that he had three young girls to raise (because his wife left him), she marries him anyway.
The big Victorian house is the focal point of the Open Arms entertainment business, which also sweeps Rebecca up into its “arms” after the marriage, too.
Then, when Joe is killed just a few years later, Rebecca is alone with it all–raising the girls, running the business, and taking care of Joe’s elderly uncle whom everyone calls “Poppy.”
At the beginning of the film, we meet the characters several years later at a point in time when Rebecca has begun to question her choices, her role in the lives of this family, and the road not taken. Which is why she suddenly calls her boyfriend from all those years ago…just to see what might happen.
Back When We Were Grownups (Hallmark Hall of Fame) is based on the Anne Tyler novel of the same name, and throughout, I could feel Rebecca’s angst: the losses, the possible wrong choices, and the “what-ifs.” An amazing cast populates this film, including Blythe Danner as Rebecca; Peter Riegert as Zeb, Joe’s brother; Jack Palance as Poppy; Peter Fonda as the ex-boyfriend; and Faye Dunaway as Joe’s ex-wife, who swoops in for the occasional celebratory moment.
I had seen this movie several years ago on the Hallmark channel, but when someone recently mentioned the book—which I also have—I really wanted to experience this again. I am happy that I did. I award five stars to this colorful, dysfunctional, and wonderful family experience.