CHANGES - with Renée O'Connor as Jessica Adams

Renee O'Connor at Melanie's wedding in CHANGES

Director:     Charles Jarrott
Producer:     Hugh Benson
Screenplay:     Susan Nanus (based on the novel by Danielle Steel)
Co-starring:     Cheryl Ladd, Michael Nouri, Christie Clark
Release Date:     1 April 1991 (NBC)
Length:     95 minutes
Aspect ratio:    1.33:1
Genre:     Romance
Interesting Character Scale (Meg McDermott=10, Lorraine Beasley=0):     Five

When Melanie Adams tells a story on television about a young girl who needs a heart transplant, her housekeeper Raquel runs out of the room midway through the story, sobbing and muttering "I can't watch no more of this!" That would also be the probable reaction of any progressive person attempting to watch this film, which is faithful to the Danielle Steel novel. It's about stylish, brilliant, rich people whose main goals in life seem to be mating and making babies.

In the film, Melanie the TV journalist falls (madly) in love with Peter the heart surgeon. Both have kids so when they move in together, it's a Brady Bunch kind of thing, except that Peter's son Mark and Melanie's oldest daughter Valerie have sex on the beach and Val gets pregnant. Despite her family's wealth and her father the doctor, she apparently has no access to, or no knowledge of, contraceptives. She of course tells no one about this, and has an abortion which almost kills her. The need for women to have access to confidential and safe health care procedures is really not discussed in this made-for-TV film, although the plot provides an excellent opportunity.

When they move in together, Peter puts Melanie in her own bedroom to conceal the fact that they are having sex from the rest of the family.

Ladd's character is more concerned with getting her heart-surgeon husband to get rid of an irksome portrait of his former wife, which hangs in the living room, than she is with the children's problems. Apparently TV journalists are extremely territorial. This notion is further supported when all the family's problems are eventually solved by building a new, much larger house.

Renee O'Connor has a fair-sized role in this, and is two years older than Christie Clark, who played her older sister Valerie. In one scene, O'Connor wears a very unflattering swimsuit, and reads D.H. Lawrence while floating in the pool on an inner tube.

Danielle Steel narrates a preface and postscript.

All clips from CHANGES have been removed from the web because of copyright complaints.

Arriving in LA Cheryl Ladd and Renee O'Connor Christopher Gartlin and Christie Clark Looking up reading D.H. Lawrence Bathrobe Swimsuits Christie Clark and Renee O'Connor Happy ending


Renée O'Connor - Jessica Adams
Cheryl Ladd - Melanie Adams
Christie Clark - Valerie Adams
Michael Nouri - Peter Hallam
Christopher Gartin - Mark Hallam
Randee Heller - Carol Kellerman
Cynthia Bain - Marie Dupres
Charles Frank - Brad Buckley
James Sloyan - Paul Stevenson
Ami Foster - Pam Hallam
Joseph Gordon-Levitt - Matt Hallam
Ben Slack - Hank Wexler
Melinda O. Fee - Diana Maxwell
Judy Jean Berns - Dr. Maxine Richmond
Shayna Bridges - Patti Lou Jones
Liz Sheridan - Mrs. Hahn
Luis Avalos - Ray
Betty Carvalho - Raquel
Flo Di Re - Helen
Sarah Simmons - Surgeon
Milt Tarver - Reporter
Christopher J. Keene - Anesthesiologist
James Boyce - Intern
Jenna Cole - Nurse #1
Patty Toy - Nurse #2
Brenda Hillhouse - Nurse #3

dvd cover changes