To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday [1996]

Michelle Pfeiffer's husband, television producer David E. Kelley (Ally McBeal), is partially responsible for this entertaining tearjerker about a widower (Peter Gallagher) who can't let go of his late wife and whose relationship with his adolescent daughter (Claire Danes) is stalled as a result. Invited for a weekend at the beach by his worried sister-in-law (Kathy Baker), Gallagher's character faces various humiliations (he's been set up to meet a single woman) and fatherly crises (his growing girl is attracted to a local boy). Pfeiffer plays the ghost of the dead woman and Danes is terrific, but it's Gallagher who gets a rare opportunity to carry the ball for an entire feature, and he does it very well. Michael Pressman directed what is, in the end, a very nice movie. --Tom Keogh

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