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This review appears direct to the web courtesy of THE CINEMA LASER.


TO GILLIAN ON HER 37TH BIRTHDAY ($35) is a bittersweet tale of love, loss and learning to deal with one’s grief. Peter Gallagher stars as a widowed man who cannot move on past the tragic accidental death of his wife Gillian. Gallagher’s character refuses to return to the real world, instead spending all his time at his beach house communing with the ghost of his departed wife. Whether the ghost is real or not, doesn’t seem to be the point of the film. Instead he has come to count on her continued presence as a crutch, which keeps him from really dealing with her death. As family and friends gather to honor the departed Gillian on her 37th birthday, they begin to question his sanity, and the effect his strange behavior is having on his teenage daughter. Noted television writer David E. Kelly adapted the screenplay from a theatrical play, and he has done a fine job turning theater into film. The characters are very human and the story does have a bit of magic to it. In addition to Gallagher, the cast of TO GILLIAN ON HER 37TH BIRTHDAY features Claire Danes, Laurie Fortier, Wendy Crewson, Bruce Altman, Kathy Baker, Freddie Prinze Jr., and Michelle Pfeiffer as Gillian.

Columbia TriStar Home Video has done a fine job transcribing TO GILLIAN ON HER 37TH BIRTHDAY to Laserdisc. The Letterboxed transfer restores the film to its 1.85:1 theatrical framing. The transfer is quite lovely. The image is very detailed and the colors are saturated without bleeding. The digitally encoded Dolby Surround soundtrack has a simple, but pleasing mix, which focuses on ambiance instead of directional effects. The Sony DADC pressing had a noticeable number of inclusions.


Laserdisc reviews are Copyright 1997 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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