Sigourney Weaver is an Actor of rare breed in the tradition of BettyDavis, Joan Crawford and sexy Rita Heyward....The Lady has classwhether as Riley or Bobby's mother in her recent TV movie....I amwondering if she is working on anymore action type films because she isall woman in her roles or as my belief she is the Clint Eastwood of allthe women actresses, yet I know women still do not get many roles after40 except for the exceptional Merle Streep. And my belief is that shehas some of Shirley MacLaine's mystic attraction that I fine veryspiritual in the sense of MacLaine's "Out on a Limb" story. So, I willbe returning to this website and will check it regularly for her nextroles in new movies.....User: eamallc
Very touching movie that will definitely bring a tear to your eye.Sigourney Weaver gives a fantastic performance here. Some of it seemeda bit overdone. For example, the scene when Bobby meets with David'sparents just didn't seem believable to me at all. It seemed totallyoveracted. The basic story was just so incredibly sad. It was supposedto be uplifting at the end, but I didn't take it that way. Abright,smart,caring and loving young man is dead and the whole thingcould have been avoided in the first place. Regardless of yourreligious persuasion, you need to accept your children for who theyare. You may not agree or like it, but they are your children and youhave to be tolerant,respectful,loving and patient. My best advice wouldbe put yourself in their position and think about how you would want tobe treated. Parents often have a difficult time doing that.User: dglink
Good intentions do not necessarily make for good movies, and "Prayersfor Bobby," which brims with good intentions, falls short of itscreators' goals. The film's story cannot be spoiled for those yet tosee a telecast, because televised previews and interviews with starSigourney Weaver have already done so. A young man comes to therealization that he is attracted to men and cannot change his nature.His otherwise doting mother, who adheres to a strict interpretation ofthe Bible, cannot accept a gay son. The son commits suicide, and, atfadeout, the mother is leading a gay pride parade. Unfortunately, awrenching tragic story has been rushed, and the bland results are more"after school special," than truly special, like the groundbreaking "ATouch of Frost." Bobby is well played by Ryan Kelley, although thecharacter's anguish and inner conflicts remain unexplored. The freedomhe experiences during a visit to an out-of-town cousin, his buddingrelationship with a handsome young man, and his father's seemingindifference to his sexual orientation make the boy's ultimate decisionpuzzling. Evidently, Bobby has even visited an inclusive church, run bygay pastor Dan Butler. Nevertheless, the young man with these avenuesof solace before him chooses the darkest solution. Because the story istrue and Bobby left a diary, much material must have been cut.Directory Russell Mulcahy, best known for music videos, inserts rapidflashes of a bound Bobby struggling to release himself. Howeverinspired these bits might have seemed, the results are more annoyingthan illuminating.
The mother's character shift occurs with similar whiplash rapidity. Therole of Mary Griffith was likely written to attract a major player withaward-winning aspirations, and Sigourney Weaver rises to the occasionwith appropriate histrionics and serious soul searching. However, awoman who, according to the script, has been bound to her Biblethroughout life asks simplistic questions that could have surfaced inBible school. The torment and inner turmoil that she must haveexperienced in challenging long-held beliefs are tossed away in a fewscenes. Perhaps "Prayers for Bobby" is appropriate for families with agay child that have no knowledge of homosexuality, which seems remotein the 21st century. With only a couple chaste male-male kisses, thefilm is certainly discrete and suggests little of gay life, other thandarkly lit bars, furtive encounters, and the rare tolerant parents.However, the Bush years are history, Proposition 8 has been passed, andgays need films with more bite than this de-fanged piece. With apotentially important and gripping story and a talented cast, "Prayersfor Bobby" is a lost opportunity to make a statement about the rolethat organized religion plays in demonizing gay Americans and denyingthem their inalienable rights.
Having watched this film I scored it 6/10, then after reading the bulkof other comments I wondered if I had been a little mean. I am reallynot sure. Being neither gay nor a bible-basher...maybe I didn't fullyrelate? To be honest I think the real problem is that I am notAmerican. (Or perhaps it was set in the '80's and *surely* attitudeshave changed?) There just seemed to be too many inconsistencies in thestory that bothered me. Bobby has a loving family apart from hisfanatical mother and vaguely ambivalent father. He has found happinesswith a partner in Portland yet still his mother's words from hischildhood drive him to suicide? His mother, supposedly a Christianfanatic who takes the bible literally doesn't know many key verses?Acting was very good, Ms. Weaver is as ever engrossing but though agood watch I just can't get that gushing about this film that so manyothers have. I'll stick with 6/10, 6.5 if I could.User: Scott Amundsen
I just finished reading the book this TV-movie was based on, and in away it's a pity that they couldn't get it made as a full-length featurefilm, for the Griffith family's story is more complex and interestingthan the cinematic fast-food that we are left with once you make roomfor the commercials.
That being said, I still give this remarkable film a 10 because, evenwithin the constraints of the TV-movie format, this is an involving,compelling, and deeply touching story about a mother's failure tounderstand, its consequences for her son, her family, and mostly forherself.
The rather complex book has been pared down to the central conflict:Bobby's homosexuality and his mother's religious fanaticism. To hercredit, Mary Griffith does not throw her son out into the streets whenshe learns he's gay, as so often happens. But what she does is in someways worse: determined to *fix* him through a religious campaign, sheprays, she constantly points out his *feminine* mannerisms, and perhapsworst of all, she puts sticky notes with Bible verses all over thehouse where the poor kid cannot fail to see them.
Bobby makes an abortive attempt to flee the constraints of his mother'sdomain by taking his own apartment in Portland, OR. But tragically, hisself-loathing has already been too deeply ingrained, and one night, hethrows himself off an underpass into the path of a semi.
What sets this film apart is that this is not the story of a kid whowasn't loved. Bobby's suicide makes his family literally implode withgrief and anguish, and sends his mother on a quest for some kind ofredemption. Drowning in guilt, she seeks out the advice of the pastorof the local Metropolitan Community Church, but at first she has a hardtime bringing herself to accept his comforting views on Scripture.
Sigourney Weaver is amazing here. In the beginning of the movie, herreligion makes her rigid, controlling, and unable to hear the cry ofanguish coming from her son. His death shatters her so completely thatthe Mary Griffith we see after the funeral is a completely differentwoman: walking bent over, she seems to be about to be crushed under theload of grief and guilt she carries. and if you do not shed tears whenshe breaks down and says that the reason God did not fix Bobby wasbecause there was nothing wrong with him, better check your pulse.
The rest of the cast is equally good, particularly Ryan Kelley asBobby. We feel every bit of the pain this young man experienced. Whenhe finally gives in to his agony and commits suicide, we are horrified,but not exactly surprised.
Should be required viewing for everyone who thinks that Gay people aresomehow less worthy.
I love this one, it felt so real (Yea I know it's based on real storywhat I mean is you can really feel like and it's happening to you oraround you everyday). As a guy I'm not very proud to say I cried overthis movie but I'm not gonna lie to it either, there were four partswhere I cried most, one is when Bobby jumped off the bridge, one whenthe family received the news, one when the mom was giving that speech,one in the end when she hugged a boy who looked like her son.
I felt so happy for Bobby when he had a boyfriend but I already knewthe story before I watched this movie so it broke my heart to know hewas going to die not long from there.
I myself am a gay guy, and I've never told my parents about myhomosexuality, not planning to either, some people suggested to watchthis movie with their parents after they come out, but I'll just saveit for myself, coz with their mind of thinking, they probably wouldyell at me and say "ARE YOU SAYING UR GOING TO KILL YOURSELF IF WEDON'T ACCPET YOU?!"
Sigourney Weaver hits the mark as a true story mother Mary Griffith.Great acting. The family too. The movie might seem a bit slow, but infact it takes it time to show how Mary and her son Bobby eventuallytook life changing decisions.
I read so much on the internet from fundamentalist christians and whatthey think about gays. It's hard for them to have a level headed viewof homosexuality. I think this film is a unique opportunity to thinkabout how they deal with gays and their religion that should be aboutlove and acceptance.
The movie certainly is a tear jerker and I hope it has a wideraudience. I recommend it.
I cried my eyes out, so maybe I shouldn't raise any objections, but...many things in this beautifully made movie were more simplistic thanthey needed to be.
The priest called Mary's attention to commands in the Bible sheobviously wasn't taking literally in her life: we should stonedisobedient children to death, we shouldn't eat shellfish. She thenlooks up these passages and tells the priest she has read them, andcontinues to raise questions about his reasoning. But earlier in themovie the family amuses itself with Bible quizzes -- I say a phrase,you tell me the book and chapter it's from. How could a woman whoclearly knew the Bible better than she knew her own son not alreadyhave read Deuteronomy and Leviticus backwards, forwards, and insideout? For a self-convinced Christian like Mary, the contradictionsbetween the passages in the Bible she liked and the ones she didn'tlike would have been explained away long before the events of thisstory.
Also, as another poster has said, the story didn't really lead us tounderstand why the boy did what he did. There's a hint that hisboyfriend was seeing other guys, he got a really nasty birthday presentfrom his mother, he was very lonely at the hospital where he worked,but -- the dots weren't really connected. It felt like a couple ofscenes had been cut, with the effect that at the climactic moment Ifound myself asking "Wha'?" instead of feeling the horribleinevitability of it.
Why am I criticizing a movie that gave me the best cry I've had inmonths? Because movies on Lifetime, even the best ones, always pullback from the edge. There is always at least to some degree anironed-out, homogenized, Canadian-locationized blandness to thestorytelling (even though this one wasn't shot in Canada.) What if theylet a movie actually be itself? What if they aimed for Sundance qualitynuance, naturalism, emotion, unexpectedness in storytelling? Thewriting and direction on this movie were first-rate, for what it was(and Sigourney Weaver and Ryan Kelley ripped my heart out)-- but I feelthat both writer and director could have gone all the way with it andmade it a MOVIE.
I wonder why they didn't.
The greatest thing about Sigourney Weaver and the rest of the castmembers who played members of the Griffith family is that in makingPrayers For Bobby they did not succumb to the temptation of making acaricature of their character. It's been done before, it would havebeen so easy, the religious right gives you so much material.
But the Griffith family Harry Czerny, Sigourney Weaver and theirchildren aren't bad people. All they have done is sit back quitecomfortably on the assurance of their faith that GLBT people are notquite normal, they are afflicted with some deadly mind disease that Goddoes not approve of. And there a lot of people who will go to theirgraves thinking that, though the amount shrinks as time goes on.
You can have a lot of smug assumptions until the problem hits home withyou. Which is what happens to the Griffith family when young RyanKelley as Bobby Griffith comes out to his brother who promptly rats himout to his mother. After that its the attempts to search for a cure oras writer Wayne Besen has so aptly put it, 'pray the gay away'.
I've known a lot of people who were survivors of such colossalignorance as preached by the religious right. Here in my nativeBuffalo, I know one young man who moved here two years ago and he grewup in the Assemblies of God Church. It took him a long time to breakfree and realize his self worth, but his is a lot happier a story thanwhat happens to Mary Griffith and her son.
Another man whom I had a relationship with back in New York when Ilived there was a survivor of electroshock treatment. It was thoughtthat would cure him by his parents who were from the Blue RidgeMountains of Virginia. It was this or kick him out of the house anddisown him which is what eventually happened. I'm sure they thoughtthey were doing the best for their kid.
When I worked at Crime Victims Board I had a mugging case of a youngkid in Central Park. But what had happened to him was that he had comeout to his enlightened parents and they threw him out of the house.This was not a street smart kid, he lived on the upper east side ofManhattan and went to prep school. He was staying in Central Park thatnight and got mugged and I got the case from a shelter in New York. Iknow his plans were to go to a girl's house he knew where her parentswere more accepting eventually. I never did find out if he made it.
I can tell you first hand that the Griffith experience is far from anisolated one. Gay/Lesbian/BiSexual/Transgender youth are far more atrisk for suicide than their straight peers. But what makes the Griffithstory unique is how they and especially Mary Griffith took a mindnumbing tragedy and turned it into a position of advocacy for those whotoo often don't get it. That is the challenge that Sigourney Weaver inher performance shows that Mary Griffith and her family met andovercame.
Sigourney's final speech before her small town council advocating plansfor a Gay Pride Day will move all of you. It might even cause some onthe religious right to question their smug assumptions about us. Thatis my prayer for Bobby.
And this film review is dedicated to all of the case examples I knewfrom my professional and personal life and to one other. A young ladyfrom Warsaw, New York who had the courage to break from herfundamentalist family and seek love and acceptance in a wider moretolerant place on this globe. I wish I had her guts when I was a teen.
The movie went off five minutes ago and I'm still sobbing. This movieshould be required viewing for every parent. Beyond the powerfulsubject matter, Prayers for Bobby is ultimately about loving andaccepting your children for whoever they are. It's about nurturingtheir self-esteem, raising them to treat others with respect andpraying that they go through life with love in their hearts.Bottom-line, it made me realize that I will always love my sonunconditionally. He's four now. And if I'm blessed enough that we areboth around when he's 14, 24 or 44, I will stand by and love him forwhoever he is as he comes into his own and forever.User: oaksong
It would be so wonderful if the people that this piece is aboutactually watched it and understood what kind of hell they're puttingtheir kids in for no particularly good reason.
It should be required viewing in every Baptist church on the planet.And there are a few other evangelical organizations with strange ideasabout human beings who might learn something.
I will be surprised if Sigourney Weaver doesn't get at least an Emmynomination, particularly given the speech she gives to the citycouncil, both well written and well delivered.
Ryan Kelly also delivers a believable performance as Bobby, regardlessof some of the cutting required to get the film into a two hourprogramming window.
Sigourney Weaver hits a home-run performance as a right-wing biblecarrying nut who can't accept the fact that her younger son is gay.
She resorts to just about everything possible to get him to amend hisways. She sends him to therapy, constantly belittles him and uses thebible frequently to justify her disdain for his lifestyle.
A confused and bewildered young man, Bobby eventually commits suicide.The real tragedy here is to get his mother thinking that thecondemnation of gays is really not the way to go.
The film is a very good one as it especially comes to grips with thechurch's condemnation of the gay life style and the use of the bible todistort this way of living.
Have you ever felt like you did not fit in? Have you ever had yourparents not accept something about you? If you think you can not getthis movie or understand and you are straight, think again. I amstraight, but this film reminded me of all the times in my life I didnot feel wanted or as though I fit in. I've spent the last year of mylife fighting for the one place on the planet I felt like I belonged,and the one industry I felt I fit into. Have you ever had to fight tobe? Have you ever had to stand up for something you believe in? Haveyou ever thought you were right about a belief and then discovered howwrong you were? Have you ever judged someone by ignorant standards,only to realize you were wrong? Are you part of a minority that hasbeen persecuted and degraded? If any of this applies to you, see thisfilm. It is more than just a movie about homosexuality. It is a filmabout people, family, love, friendship, and understanding. And if youare someone who thinks that homosexuals are evil, I dare you to watchthis film.User: tj19
BASED ON A TRUE STORY I'm not much of a fan of the Lifetime network.They usually produce wishy-washy and clich? titles usually aboutdivorce, or pregnancy issues, or something that really has no plot orsubstance. However, being a fan of Sigourney Weaver and her work, andalso interested in the story that actually has an actual importanttheme, I debated whether it would be worth two hours of my time. Itwas. It is 1979. Bobby Griffith (Ryan Kelley) is a teen who has aloving family and a pretty good life. However, he believes himself tobe a homosexual. He fears that his mother, Mary, (Weaver) will notaccept him and love him anymore, due to her clear and well-known loathand contempt of gay and lesbians due to her faith and literalinterpretation of the bible. When Bobby tells his brother he thinks heis gay, his brother tells their mother, hoping his mother can helpBobby. Instead, she treats Bobby as if he has a disease that can be"cured" through God. Mary's overbearing and abrasive treatment towardsBobby distances him from his family out to Oregon to live with hiscousin, who believes anyone should be allowed to love anyone. While inOregon, Bobby meets a guy who makes him feel good about himself. WhenBobby comes back from his vacation, he tells his family about the guyhe met and his mother reacts as if he is a perverse and sick person.She tells him she WILL NOT have a gay son. This upsets Bobby enough topermanently move to Oregon without a goodbye from his mother. While inOregon, feeling the isolation of the family he loves, he becomessuicidal and cannot take it anymore. He commits suicide. For the restof the film, we see his mother go through some major characterdevelopment and we see her try to overcome her ignorance. I never criedduring a movie before until I saw this movie. Prayers for Bobby wastruly an amazing movie. Watching Sigourney Weaver as Mary Griffithbroke my heart. She was believable and perfect. Ryan Kelley also did agreat job playing Bobby. He showed a lot of range and purity in hisperformance. The movie definitely has a made-for-TV and Lifetimechannel feel to it. It WAS a made-for-TV Lifetime original movie, soget over that (I did). I am so glad I saw this and I urge anyone andeveryone to see it. 9/10User: J.T. Segal (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The whole movie I was crying profusely. The cast was terrific. Amust-see, especially for gay people and family of gay people. A gayyouth is outcast by his mother and he struggles to accept hishomosexuality. He eventually is able to leave his family for Portland,OR, but his mother's emotional/biblical abuse remains scarring hismind. I don't want to spoil what happens in Portland, but you willcertainly find this a movie that makes you feel deeply for all thecharacters involved. I really felt connected to all the characters.This movie was certainly a movie that would be great to watch withsomeone you care for, as you will be crying the whole time. This moviepoints out the horrors of the religious Right, and criticizes thearguments against homosexuality.User: Dragoneyed363
To be honest, I wasn't looking forward to watching Prayers for Bobby atall. I had seen the previews for weeks and since it was a "Lifetime"original, I had low expectations and even made fun of it with myfriends. All that changed when I saw how wonderful it actually turnedout to be. Prayers for Bobby is an emotionally and physically tiringfilm that entertains from start to finish.
The movie is just so clever at times. While it is thin and bland too,it is brilliantly played out and executed in the sense that youactually care what's going on and what's going to happen to thesecharacters. They keep you interested with problem after problem andtherefore they don't have enough time to let you get bored. SigourneyWeaver plays an amazing role as well, and the movie is just soendearing that I really lose myself in it every time I watch it.
It was a truly spectacular film; one of the best "made for TV"s I haveseen, and it was a splendid job well done for all the cast and crew. Ifyou think you can enjoy, I suggest you see it right away.
The truth can be heartbreaking. Mary Griffith realized this when herson Bobby jumped off of a freeway into oncoming traffic. I justfinished watching this movie and I must say... this movie is beyondtouching. The acting was fantastic and it's message was very inspiring.Prayers for Bobby shows the struggles that gay youth and their familiescan go through, whether that means failing or triumph. This movie notonly touches on the issues of homosexuality but also on pushingreligion to far on someone, suicide and coming to terms with who youare. Life isn't always made up of rainbows and butterflies and thismovie expresses that without holding anything back.