Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner Sigourney Weaver stars in this emotional true story about a deeply religious suburban housewife and mother who struggles to accept her son’s homosexuality. Mary Griffith (Weaver) is a devout Christian who has raised her children with a conservative religious perspective. When her son, Bobby (Ryan Kelley), reveals that he is gay to his older brother, the entire family dynamic is forever shifted. While Bobby’s father and siblings slowly come to terms with his homosexuality, Mary turns to her steadfast beliefs in an attempt to “cure” her son. Alienated and quickly becoming more detached from the safety of his close-knit family, Bobby’s depression drives him to take drastic – and tragic – actions. PRAYERS FOR BOBBY is the multiple Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award nominated true story of a mother torn between her loyalties, challenged by her faith, and moved by a tragedy that would change her life, and the lives of others, forever. Based on the book Prayers for Bobby by Leroy Aarons.
In this affecting cable movie about the consequences of intolerance, Sigourney Weaver plays Mary Griffith, a California woman who paid dearly for her beliefs. In the late 1970s, she and her close-knit Christian family, including husband Bob (Henry Czerny), live in comfortable Walnut Creek. Her son Bobby (Ryan Kelley), a high-school student, has a secret he hides well until it becomes too hard to bear, so he tells his older brother. Out of concern for his welfare, Ed (Austin Nichols) tells Mary, who considers homosexuality "an abomination." She believes Bobby can change if he sets his mind to it, so she fixes him up on dates and sends him to a therapist. Wanting to please his mother, he goes along with her plans. When they fail, he drops out of school to live with a sympathetic cousin in Portland, where he works and dates another young man, but years of guilt and shame drive him to seek a permanent solution to his problem. At this point, the story shifts to Mary, who meets Reverend Whitsell (Frasier
's Dan Butler). With his help, she learns to reconcile her religious faith with her son's orientation. There are a few missteps in this Lifetime production, as when Bobby contemplates suicide while watching Spartacus
, but Queer as Folk
director Russell Mulcahy adapts Leroy Aarons's 1996 book with sensitivity, and Weaver makes a potentially off-putting character sympathetic--good luck keeping those tears at bay. Extra features include interviews with the producers, the cast, and the subject. --Kathleen C. Fennessy