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The Deep End of the Ocean

reviewed by Vivian Rose, age 14, from US

My main problem with "The Deep End of the Ocean" was the same problem I had with the book it was based on: I just don't care much for any of the characters. Also, since I'd previously read the book, I already knew how the story would turn out.

Beth Cappadora (Michelle Pfeiffer) is, for the most part, a happily married mother of three. Not only does she make the mistake of taking her three small children with her to a high school reunion in Chicago, but she also makes the mistake of leaving her oldest son Vincent in charge of his younger brother, three-year-old Ben, in the crowded hotel lobby. Returning only a few moments later, she discovers Ben is gone.

And he stays gone for the next nine years. Long after Beth and her family have given up hope that Ben will ever be safely returned, he shows up at her door, offering to mow the lawn. As it turns out, he has been living only two blocks away, unaware that he had been kidnapped by the woman he thought to be his mother. Of course, he doesn't recognize Beth, but she immediately recognizes him, unobtrusively snaps several photos (she's a professional photographer), and later calls the police. Soon enough, Ben is back with his natural family, but he doesn't adjust well.

As I stated earlier, I didn't really like these characters, especially Beth - who was too much of a jellyfish. I prefer characters that actually do something, rather than just stand around whining and soaking up pity. Still, all the actors were admirable , especially Pfeiffer, and I had to appreciate the wonderful performances.

Rating : PG-13 (for language and thematic elements)

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