Class (TV Movie 2010)

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Class: Directed by David S. Cass Sr.. With Jodi Lyn O’Keefe, Justin Bruening, Constance Marie, Eric Roberts. Preppy and wealthy Whitt Sheffield is in his last semester of law school when a professor assigns him to act as an advocate for a young, single mother who needs help finding – and keeping – a job. Whitt (Justin Bruening), whose snooty father wants Whitt to follow him into corporate law, is insulted by the low-class assignment, especially after he meets Kylie Burch (Jodi Lyn O’Keefe), the woman he has to help. Kylie and Whitt clash at first, and it looks like Whitt will never be able to help her if he doesn’t understand her situation. But when Kylie and her son’s future as a family is suddenly threatened, Whitt discovers he and Kylie may not be so different, after all.

“Hallmark gives its audience what it wants by repackaging its single-mom- meets-guy-who-she-thinks-is-a-jerk-but-he-turns-out-to-be Mr.-Right patented approach in as many different ways as they can think of. They please their audiences even if the leads are generally plug-and-play, the plots predictable, and the production values threadbare. u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eClass qualifies for all of the above. But itu0026#39;s one of the best applications of the formula. The writing and dialog are a bit tighter and sharper than usual. The supporting acting including wonderful performances by Catherine Mary Stewart and Eric Roberts as the male leadu0026#39;s parents. The sick son is quite good as is the actress playing the Law School Professor (I remember her from My Family and Tortilla Soup) and the actor playing the male leadu0026#39;s best friend also give excellent performances elevating their characters above the norm. Ms. Ou0026#39;Rourkeu0026#39;s sister is also well played. u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eBut what elevates this the most is the eye-opening performance by Jody Lyn Ou0026#39;Keefe. Her interpretation of the very unglamorous and emotionally damaged underprivileged single Mom who never caught a break in life seemed totally and completely real. She was so good she could have been such a person in a documentary. Her transformation is never too easy or forced by the script. We feel her painfully and reluctantly experiencing rejection, then having to mask her scars and learn to hope and expect, then demand, better for herself. In most Hallmark movies, itu0026#39;s just part of the back story, here it actually seems real. Her eyes tell the saga of a woman who has experienced more than a more merciful God would allow. And when her sonu0026#39;s needs make her put aside her skepticism to anyone willing to help even though she doubts at first his sincerity (with good reason), then later his ability to stand up to his father (with better reason), you feel these hard trade-offs and what they are doing to her.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eClass is a classy effort by all and gets an A from me on the basis of a stellar performance by Jody Lyn Ou0026#39;Keefe.”


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