Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

TV REVIEW : 'For Their Own Good' Tackles the Plight of Working Women

April 05, 1993|JON MATSUMOTO

It's easy to understand why Elizabeth Perkins and Laura San Giacomo decided to take roles in TV's "For Their Own Good," which airs at 9 p.m. on ABC (Channels 7, 3, 10 and 42). This is a well-intentioned, though flawed, message movie that has a lot to say about corporate immorality and the plight of working-class women.

Based on real events, "For Their Own Good" takes place in a small Texas town where 25 women factory workers are told they must be sterilized or face losing their jobs. They deal with toxic materials and the company fears that it could face a lawsuit should one of them give birth to a defective baby.

Director-writer Ed Kaplan exhibits a knowing touch when exploring the bind in which these women find themselves. Many of them are outraged that the factory's corporate command would dare infringe on their right to bear children. But without good alternative job skills and opportunities, they find it difficult to adhere to their principles. The movie is particularly effective when the forces of this corporate monolith wither away the fighting spirit of a few feisty women workers.

"For Their Own Good" works best as a social-political drama. Kaplan paints a vivid picture of the barriers these blue-collar women face. In positions of little power, they struggle to fight sex discrimination, sexual harassment and, like their male co-workers, they toil in an environment with less than adequate safety regulations.

However, Kaplan stumbles when he attempts to personalize his movie. Perkins is believable as factory worker Sally Thompson. You admire her for standing up to the Establishment and her abusive husband. But key relationships with her son and a male co-worker are too underdeveloped.

San Giacomo plays a New York City ACLU lawyer with an appealing directness, but she isn't given opportunity to develop the nuances of the attorney's personality.

Still, "For Their Own Good" delivers socially compelling messages that should leave lasting impressions.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|