More than 5 years old and this TV movie still moves me to tears each time I see it. Gracie’s Choice is about a 17 year-old girl who all her life has taken on the responsibility of raising her siblings, a sister and three brothers who all have different fathers, because of the irresponsibility of their addict mom. Kristen Bell plays the part of Gracie and Anne Heche, who was nominated for an Emmy for the role, played the mother.
The family’s state has been horrible for years but things came to a boiling point when the mom was jailed sending the kids to institutions that meant tearing the whole family apart. Gracie steps up to the plate with their grandma helping her as she struggled to provide for the family, do well in school, and somehow raise the kids well. Things go well enough for them with Gracie even meeting a wonderful guy who loves her and helps expand her horizons, until her mother gets out of jail. The grandma, who is very easily manipulated by her daughter agrees to let her stay with them despite her continuous drug use and the financial strain she brought by cashing in the kids welfare checks and using it all on herself and her boyfriends. Gracie finally fights back, knowing full well that she’ll lose her family if they stay with their mom, and decides to adopt her own brothers.
Kristen Bell and Anne Heche played their roles very convincingly so much that it tears my guts up just watching the movie. Anne Heche is so effective in her role that you can’t help but pity her despite the utter disgust you’ll also feel at seeing how bad her kids has it because of her.
What’s even more remarkable about the TV movie is that it is based on a true story. Reader’s Digest first published the story of Amy and her family. I’ve been looking for updates on them but so far haven’t found any. You can’t help but really admire the real Amy and hope for the best for the whole family.
This is one must watch TV movie. I should know I’ve seen it several times and it never fails to tug at my heartstrings and inspire to be better at the same time.