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Profoundly Normal


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$19.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.


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Product Details

  • Actors: Delroy Lindo, Kevin Duhaney, Kirstie Alley, Rosemary Dunsmore, Catherine Fitch
  • Directors: Graeme Clifford
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Celebrity Video Distribution
  • DVD Release Date: November 25, 2008
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001J2XRLC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #92,359 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Donna Selby (Kirstie Alley) and Ricardo Thornton (Delroy Lindo) were two mentally disabled children who were taken from their parents and institutionalized. Donna was angry and afraid; she hated the heavy medications, uncompassionate staff, and had difficulty coping. Then Donna met cheerful and optimistic Ricardo, who had a calming effect on her. Their friendship blossomed over 20 years. Then they were told that the institution was closing. Patients were re-assigned to other institutions, group homes and apartments. Could Donna and Ricardo survive in the outside world? Would they be able to survive without each other? Follow the quest of this mentally disabled couple to find each other again. Feel their love and determination to fulfill their dreams of getting married, having a child, (forbidden by the Social Services Authorities) and becoming a normal family.

Review

A winning and benevolent performance from Delroy Lindo and charming chemistry between the actor and Kirstie Alley allow Profoundly Normal to find its bearings and keep it from drifting toward the profoundly oversentimental. Telepic's based on the lives of a developmentally disabled couple who find themselves on their own, marry and raise a son after being institutionalized deep into their adult lives. Story is told in blocks separated by 60 Minutes-like interviews with Donna (Alley) and Ricardo Thornton (Lindo) that establish Normal's can-do spirit and allow viewers to absorb their troubled lives and know that it will all work out in the end. The effect diffuses any extra emotional pull the story might have had had the end been up in the air. Nevertheless, this is very much a story of struggle, albeit moved to the mundane facts of life like grocery shopping, riding a bus or making simple hors d'oeuvres for a party. It tackles their lives chronologically, from moving out on their own to marriage, childbirth and the rearing of their son Ricky (Kevin Duhaney). Only after the Thorntons start to raise their child do the horrors of Donna's and Ricardo's childhoods spent at Forest Haven crop up in flashback. Although their retardation appears mild in comparison to that of the kids they're locked up with, both were treated as if they were incapable of ever learning anything; Ricardo, especially, seems to have been misdiagnosed, though Normal never wholly addresses that issue. Story depends heavily on the two leads. Alley is asked to be a bit flighty, and she does so without supercilious flair. Lindo's perf is admirably measured and nuanced. The two characters receive the strongest support from Forest Haven administrator Charlotte Johnson (Rosemary Dunsmore), who pushes for Donna and Ricardo's marriage, even if it means heading to Washington, D.C., where people labeled retarded are allowed to marry. Telepic never states where the action is set, though it most likely takes place in the Northeast. Donna is initially set into the real world with best friend Margaret (Catherine Fitch), a woman clearly incapable of taking care of herself. Fitch plays her with a cliched assortment of facial tics and hair pulling that contrast with the assuredness of Alley's Donna. We're left to assume Donna, or for that manner any mildly disabled person, can function a-OK as long as they have a loving support system. --Phil Gallo-Variety

The fact that CBS is calling Profoundly Normal a quirky love story is not all that surprising in a TV climate where young singles are looking for love -- usually in all the wrong places. But the new TV movie is much more than odd. It's pretty remarkable. Faithful viewers of 60 Minutes will recognize Donna and Ricardo Thornton, two developmentally disabled people who, in their effort to lead a normal life, married and had a young son. Correspondent Mike Wallace has chronicled their struggle over time. A 1990 segment showed the challenges of young Ricky's earliest months as a child with normal intelligence living with parents whose IQs are less than 70. Profoundly Normal gives those segments context, as well as a happy ending. Kirstie Alley, who also serves as co-executive producer, portrays Donna as a headstrong, brave woman. It's a star turn that reminds us she's an actress -- those bizarre Pier One ads notwithstanding. Delroy Lindo (The Cider House Rules) gives Ricardo a quiet dignity that, along with Alley's sheer force of will, makes their love story color-blind and believable. The drama begins at Forest Haven, the Maryland institution where the two met and endured unspeakable hardships as children. It concludes when Ricky is 14, and both he and his parents are thriving in a household where love and self-respect make life possible. Quirky? Yes. But it's a TV movie that's also quite extraordinary. --Nancy McAlister-Jacksonville.com

When Ricardo Thornton was a little boy, a woman in social services asked him if he knew what a city was or what a country was. Then she asked him to name three cities. When he didn't answer, she sent him off to Forest Haven, an institution for the developmentally disabled, to his shame. Decades later, Ricardo is sitting with his son, Ricky, who is studying for a test, and asks him to name three countries. Ricky (Kevin Duhaney) thinks that's an odd question, but he humors his father, shrugs and says, ''Venezuela, Jamaica and France.'' You have never seen a greater glow of parental pride. But for Ricardo (Delroy Lindo), pride isn't a simple thing. A wave of embarrassment passes over his face, as do a bit of surprise, a regret that he can never treat basic knowledge so casually, and an attempt to hide everything he's feeling. Mr. Lindo's performance gives the worthy CBS film ''Profoundly Normal'' its complexity. ''Profoundly Normal,'' which has its premiere tomorrow night on CBS, is the true love story of Ricardo and Donna Shelby (Kirstie Alley), both of whom were declared ''profoundly retarded'' as children and have grown up in the same institution. Their romance begins when he walks up to her in the cafeteria and kisses her hand -- the palm of her hand. ''You did it wrong,'' she announces. (Donna is a straightforward, lively young woman, and Ms. Alley, who has transcended vanity for the role, plays her with great energy if not great depth.) Ricardo insists that he has seen it done that way in a movie, and so they agree to go to a movie together to establish who's right. When Forest Haven is shut down, both Ricardo and Donna are released into independent living programs in the Washington area, and he begins coming to visit. (He's in a group house; she shares an apartment with her friend Margaret.) Although the head of social services won't give his official permission for them to marry, they do it anyway and, despite other people's concerns, have a child. Then the suspense begins. Will their son be ''normal''? Normalcy is the film's theme, as its title indicates. Ricardo and Donna eat popcorn at the movies, order pizza and fall in love. When he brings up the subject of sex, she brings up the subject of marriage. (''If you want to sleep with me in my bed, we have to be married,'' she informs him. He doesn't miss a beat and says, ''All right.'') When she's pregnant and sitting with her social worker trying to learn about breast-feeding and how to handle the baby's future crying, Ricardo thinks he'll just go out to his basketball game. (He's mistaken.) After the Thorntons are the subject of an admiring segment on ''60 Minutes,'' they begin receiving fan mail and Donna thinks that's strange. ''We weren't trying to be no inspiration to nobody,'' she says. ''All we were trying to do is be like them.'' But inspiration is a common response. As moviegoers and television viewers, we tend to fawn over developmentally disabled characters, seeing in them a childlike purity, a guilelessness that allows them to relish life more fully and to see seemingly complicated things with a simplicity that's beyond us. Take Tom Hanks in ''Forrest Gump,'' Dustin Hoffman in ''Rain Man'' and Cliff Robertson in ''Charly,'' all of whom won Oscars for best actor. Identification is harder to come by. ''Profoundly Normal'' tries, though, taking a cue from the film ''A Beautiful Mind,'' which showed its schizophrenic hero's delusions as real. When Donna gets her first job, at McDonald's, and has to take a bus by herself, her beautifully dressed social worker (Rosemary Dunsmore) points out the bus stop sign with the route information. Donna looks up and viewers see it as she does, as Egyptian hieroglyphics. Funny, though: when she misses her stop and has to walk back to McDonald's, she knows the golden arches when she sees them. --Anita Gates-The New York Times

Customer Reviews

Great acting and story line.
D. Hermansen
Its hard enough for someone that is disabled in some way to deal with their own affliction without having to deal with so many people who are cruel and mean to them.
B Real
It will make you laugh, make you cry, and just make your heart very warm.
Amy Sanchez

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Ginny L. Tenore on March 22, 2009
Format: DVD
This movie is a MUST SEE for anyone who works or cares for people with mental retardation and/or developmental disabilities. Excellent insight to their world. I have worked in this field for years and feel this video SHOULD BE REQUIRED TRAINING VIDEO FOR STAFF WORKING IN THIS FIELD!
Very well done, I highly recommend!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kk on October 19, 2012
Format: Amazon Instant Video
This movie is a tough subject, but handled with such sensitivity that it is hard not to be interested. We don't use the word retarded to describe intellectually challenged people. We think somehow we are beyond that. But disability laws are recent, and the movie serves as a reminder of that, telling the story of a handful of residents abandoned in childhood at now closed institution. They take chances, wishing only to be, instead of what they were labeled previously; profoundly retarded... to a label of profoundly normal. And some, like Ms. Ally's character are successful, facing borderline functionality, but leaving this critic with a feeling that some of that is placed upon her by a cruel institution meant only to house, and not to improve the lives of those who were committed.

I knew Ms. Ally was somewhat of a successful actress, but I thought of her only as a comedienne. This was a tremendously smart performance. She should be profoundly credited in this role as an actress, and a human being with intelligence, love, sensitivity and depth. She performs with such passion that there is no clue that the smart, somewhat goofy person she's always portrayed lives in the same body as this honest, lovable, yet deeply disabled person she plays; struggling with all her soul to simply live a regular life. This is an important film for every person to watch, and and a reminder that the SAME human spirit exists in ALL of us, even though it can be quite hidden by disability... be it of mind or body.

I noticed it was a 2011 production and cannot believe it did not get any attention, so hope it does well here. Here's to you Ms. Ally. You are tremendously talented and giving, and many owe you thanks for your obvious hard work in making this movie, for those who are differently-abled, and for those who can help simply by opening their hearts and minds. This is a true story, making it all the more tender for it's telling.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By B. Hileman on December 20, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is an emotionally moving story of handicapped people trying to be like "normal" people and live in our world. I found it very beleiveable and touching. I don't know why some people are so up in arms about it. It's about real life! It allows you to put yourself in their shoes and feel what they go through, or feel like in a way.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amanda Beckham on April 16, 2008
Format: DVD
I didn't expect this movie to be as moving as it was. I have never before cried nonstop, from beginning to end, before watching this. I'm glad I had commercials to go blow my nose and breathe for a few seconds! Wonderful acting. Kirstie Alley was amazing. I can't wait for it to come out on dvd, even though it is the most emotionally exhausting movie I think I've ever seen.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Penny on August 28, 2008
Format: DVD
This is by far one of the best movies I have seen in a long time. I watch it everytime it comes on TV and I am so thrilled it's finally out on DVD. If you haven't seen it ... you need to.

Being the mother of two handicapped children, I wanted to see how this was written and acted. They couldn't have picked better people to play the parts of the couple portrayed in this movie then Kirstie and Delroy. Outstanding acting, writing, and directing. I was moved from beginning to end and cried as they were left at the institution to live; as they grew up and found friends; as they started jobs and had their ups and downs; and as they found each other and fell in love.

I was truly impressed how they handled the relationship between Kirstie and Delroy's characters. Not only was this a bi-racial relationship (not something normal at that time), but they were both portrayed as mentally handicapped. It was done with taste, consideration, respect, and love.

My hats off to the writer, producer, director and actors that took part in this made-for-tv movie. This one needs to be seen on the BIG SCREEN by everyone. It makes you realize that we are all created for a reason, whether we are a genius or profoundly normal.

If you want to see a movie that is clean, decent, and wonderfully acted, watch this one!! You'll be glad you did ... and feel good about it!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By S. Warner on March 5, 2008
Format: DVD
This is a wonderful family movie that I have enjoyed each time I find it on TV!!! Can't wait to buy the DVD! Cast does a wonderful job! Love this movie!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Frasca on January 11, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this movie on Lifetime. I look forward to viewing it again and sharing it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Vada Domo on January 25, 2015
Format: Amazon Instant Video
I was looking for a good 'based on a true story' movie for my lifetime-a-thon with my girly girls. This hit the mark.

It sad that her struggles are true and makes you really look at people with disabilities more sympathetically. The story follows the life of a woman who is just trying to be 'normal' and live a regular life with the same rights as people that aren't challenged.

If you're looking for a movie that gives perspective, then you'll enjoy this movie. It made me laugh, cry, angry, sad, and happy all in one sitting. :)
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