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A '90s-style blend of Kramer vs. Kramer and Terms of Endearment, this relentless tearjerker doesn't reach the heights of either. Despite the occasional dramatic clichè and some predictable dialogue, however, the melodrama is often effective, particularly in the performances of Susan Sarandon and Ed Harris, who find a subtlety and depth within their characters not written into the script.
Star Julia Roberts also does fine, even if she's trapped in a film that suggests a little bit of soul music can soothe any crisis. The film is longer than need be, but then again, it's carrying a heavy load of kids, divorce, romance, puppies and cancer.