Jacob Have I Loved
Reviewed by: Brett Willis
8 to Adult
Year of Release:
_____, 1989 TV broadcast
This coming-of-age story deals with the jealousy of a “plain” twin sister whose whole family favors the other twin.
Sixteen-year-old Louise Bradshaw (Bridget Fonda) was the firstborn, and has been somewhat neglected ever since birth while the needs and wants of “delicate” younger sister Caroline (Jenny Robertson) came first. Louise works hard in the crabbing and oystering industry on the family’s home island in Chesapeake Bay, and Louise’s earnings help to pay for Caroline’s music lessons. At the beginning of WWII, Louise alternately tries to get involved in patriotic activities; to go with her father on his boat (not considered proper, because it’s “men’s work”); or to save some money for herself and just leave the island. It seems that no one cares much what she thinks or does. Then she meets a fellow outcast—old Captain Hiram Wallace (John Kellogg)—and goes through a new series of challenges.
Content: There are a few instances of threatened violence, one of them in a dream sequence. There’s no profanity. The most offensive remarks are a joke about how there’s trouble in heaven because “God thinks he’s Franklin Roosevelt,” and some cruel misapplication of the Bible by Grandma Bradshaw (Mary Fogarty) who has her own problems with unresolved bitterness. The whole extended family certainly could have done a better job of being even-handed with the twins; but if there were nothing for Louise to overcome and learn from, there’d be no story. The issues raised, and the lessons about facing your problems rather than running away from them, make this a worthwhile film for anyone old enough to follow the plot.