YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Television Review

With O'Hara, 'Cab to Canada' Is Pleasant Ride


Detouring sentiment and dodging potholes, the character-driven TV movie "Cab to Canada" offers a smooth and pleasurable ride, serving as a sturdy vehicle for the indomitable Maureen O'Hara.

Fueled by an actual incident, the film quickly gets into gear by introducing gruff, gravel-voiced Mike (Jason Beghe), a Pasadena cabby whose latest fare is the refined and rigid septuagenarian Katherine (O'Hara).

Though the principals mesh like oil and water, Katherine's big tips are enticing enough to make Mike drive to Malibu following the funeral of her friend, a woman who died without ever embracing a sense of adventure.

With that in mind, Katherine orders Mike to push on northward, making stops in Santa Barbara, Carmel, San Francisco, Seattle and beyond, which comes as no surprise given the title.

Along the route of their occasionally bumpy 3,100-mile journey, the characters expectedly warm to each other, with Katherine coming to appreciate the loyalty and commitment of Mike, who in turn grasps the importance of her cherished memories with loved ones.

Back home, meanwhile, Mike's understanding girlfriend ("JAG's" Catherine Bell) keeps a watchful eye over a cynical, independent youngster (Haley Joel Osment) with a self-absorbed single mother who thinks nothing of shirking her responsibility in a bid to find Mr. Right.

Though the outcome in the appealing teleplay by Dalene Young is readily predictable and the final scene at Katherine's home tends to be a tad puzzling, the trip itself is a highly enjoyable one.

As always, the iron-willed O'Hara has a commanding presence, but Beghe manages to hold his own each mile of the way. Bell and Osment also give good performances under the leisurely direction of Christopher Leitch.

* "Cab to Canada" airs Sunday at 9 p.m. on CBS. The network has rated it TV-PG (may be unsuitable for young children).

Los Angeles Times Articles