Story of the meteoric rise and sudden fall of Karen Carpenter, who became a famous singer before battling anorexia and bulemia.
THE KAREN CARPENTER STORY
US, 1989, 100 minutes, Color.
Cynthia Gibb, Stephanie Griffin, Louise Fletcher, Mitchell Anderson.
Directed by Joseph Sargent.
The Karen Carpenter Story is an above average television biography of the noted singer and her pianist brother.
The film is of interest because Karen Carpenter died in February 1983 as a consequence of her experience of anorexia nervosa. She died at the age of 32. The film uses ber death as a framework for the story, not only of the show business side of things, but also of her family life in California., her talent and career, her singing – but also her illness. Cynthia Gibb brings vitality to the role of Karen (from the age of 13 until her death. Mitchell Anderson is also effective as Richard Carpenter (who acted as the executive producer of the film and director of the music).
Many of the Carpenters’ most popular songs (We’ve only, Just Begun, Close To You, On Top of the World are included in the film). Louise Fletcher is the Carpenter’s mother – and she has the opportunity once again for an excellent performance as a dominating mother this time loving and sweet, but ultimately with a touch of the monster destroying her children. Peter Michael Goetz is self-effacing as her husband. The film is interesting – and entertaining – with questions about ideal family life, the influence of parents and expectations, show business, success, illness.
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