Reviews of movies and TV focused on women

When Last We Spoke

Corbin Bernsen, Melissa Gilbert, Darby Camp, and Chandler Head in When We Last Spoke

When Last We Spoke tells the story of two sisters who lost a great deal during the late 1960s. They spent years as adults not speaking, until circumstances brought them back together again. This film is streaming on Prime.

When Last We Spoke is a family story. It captures the feel of life for a certain type of good-hearted American from the Texas hill country. The music, the language (“cheese and crackers” was a curse), the small town life, and the far-away consequences of the Viet Nam War.

Darby Camp and Chandler Head in When We Last Spoke

The story skips back and forth from the 1960s to the 1980s. The two sisters, Evangeline (Chandler Head/Alicia Fusting) and Juliet (Darby Camp/Lacy Camp) bid goodbye to their dad (Donny Boaz), a helicopter pilot on his way to Viet Nam. Shortly after that their mother (Julia Denton) dumped them and their toothbrushes at their grandparents house and took off for New York City.

We see the sisters adjust to life with the grandparents, Ruby (Melissa Gilbert) and Walt (Corbin Bernsen). The sisters try to be good, but they do argue a lot. They get acquainted with the town and its people, particularly the fascinating knockout Selma (Johanna Jowett).

They get letters from mom in NYC and dad in Viet Nam. They make friends and enemies on the school playground. Life with the grandparents is a kind of idealized version of the American family. Melissa Gilbert and Corbin Bernsen were like a Norman Rockwell painting as the loving couple in the center of this nostalgic drama.

Then great grandmother (Cloris Leachman) is dropped on their doorstep the same way the sisters had been before. Great grandmother has dementia and adds some humor and wonderment to the story.

There are secrets that cause rifts between the sisters. They suffer many losses. As adults they are far apart and out of touch.

The film is a sweet story about finding the love you need to survive, and about being the kind of person willing to give that love. The material was on the sweet side, but the cast did their best with it. The details of a time and place were perfect. Joanne Hock directed.

When last we spoke poster

Here’s a look at the preview.

What do you think? Does this one sound like you’d enjoy it?

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