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A Mom Navigating Life

‘Relative Stranger’ premieres on the Hallmark Channel

By: Donna Chaffins | Date: March 14, 2009 | Categories: Entertainment, TV

Relative Stranger is Hallmark’s newest original movie and it focuses on the subject of fathers abandoning their families.  A topic relevant in today’s society, I think.  I know that men have really stepped up parenting and do as much or more parenting as their female counterparts… but we still have too many fathers that walk away.  To many men who neglect their parenting responsibilities.

From the Hallmark Channel’s press release,

A former football star returns home to the family he left six years earlier to find some things have changed, while some have not – mostly within himself.  Can a family hurt by a man who once was their hero forgive him?  Can he forgive himself, or will he continue to run from his past?  Difficult truths must be faced and forgiven in the engaging family drama “Relative Stranger,” a Hallmark Channel Original Movie premiering Saturday, March 14 (9/8c).  The all-star cast includes Emmy® and Golden Globe nominee Eriq La Salle (“ER”), Emmy and NAACP Image Award® winner Miss Cicely Tyson (“Diary of a Mad Black Woman”), SAG Award™ nominee Michael Michele (“ER”) and NAACP Image Award winner Michael Beach (“Third Watch”).

After learning of the death of his overbearing father, former football hero Walter Clemons (La Salle) comes home to Los Angeles to claim his share of the estate.  Having abandoned his family six years earlier, Walter is in for a tough trip – a visit which involves dealing with the hurts he inflicted on his wife, Charlotte (Michele), their children, Denise (Davis) and Andy (McCullers) and his own brother, James (Beach), who has become a surrogate father to the kids.  Can he count on his mother (Tyson) to help him through this emotional obstacle course, or is it best for all that he return to the empty life from which he came?

While Andy was too young to remember his father – or his leaving – the wounds are still far too fresh for teenager Denise, herself a young athlete, who has no interest in seeing her father return to cause more harm.  His estranged wife and brother have each moved on in their own way, challenging Walter’s relationships with both.  His elderly mother, wise with age, tries to guide the family through their struggles with one another – but will Walter, a recovering alcoholic, be able to survive the emotional onslaught his family brings to the table, as well as his own?

Once again the Hallmark Channel will air a family movie that can inspire.  Relative Stranger has a lesson to be learned and hopefully fathers who have abandoned or thinking about abandoning their children, will think twice.

You can go to hallmarkchannel.com to check out more about Relative Stranger; and tune in tonight, March 14, 2009 at 9:00 pm EST, and watch Relative Stranger.  I would love to hear what you think about it.

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