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Prayers for Bobby: a Family's Struggle with Faith and Sexuality

Pb2You may want to set your DVRs for Prayers for Bobby tomorrow night, a Lifetime adaptation of the Leroy Aaron book which chronicles the true story of a fundamentalist Christian mother's struggle with her gay son, the tragic end to that struggle, and how it changed her forever.

Mary Griffith, the mother, is played by Sigourney Weaver. You may have seen some ads for Bobby on our site over the past week.

Prayers for Bobby airs January 24th at 9PM ET/PT.

The made-for-TV film is said by Variety to be groundbreaking in the way An Early Frost was for films about AIDS in the 80's: "Lifetime doesn't often aim this high with its made-fors, yet aside from some minor questionable stylistic choices by director Russell Mulcahy, this message movie proves powerful without being unduly preachy."

Pb1The Hollywood Reporter agrees: "Moreover, the film has all the earmarks of 'important television' without crossing the line into preachy melodrama, earning its tears the old-fashioned way: via a wise, evocative script and sensitive characterizations. It feels like the kind of movie that really could make a difference in the lives of actual moms and dads struggling to come to grips with a gay child's lifestyle."

The Denver Post offers a slightly different perspective: "It doesn't mean to feel maniacally manipulative. It just happened that way. Lifetime tackles a true tear-jerker this weekend, resulting in a movie that will reduce you to mush while simultaneously making you scream. Sigourney Weaver is the film's strength; the neat Lifetime tie-a- ribbon ending is its biggest weakness."

And Focus on the Family is pissed...

Watch the trailer, and an interview with the real Mary Griffith, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Even though this might be a little "cheesy," plan to watch. It's an important message to get out. This is why is it so important to be "out" to be a role model for young people -- that you can be gay have a "normal," happy, successful life.

    Posted by: Anonymous | Jan 23, 2009 9:10:50 AM

  2. I'll definitely be tuning in, it appears to be a great movie... and I love Sigourney Weaver, such a talented yet underrated actress. If you want to see a powerful film with Sigourney Weaver, watch 1994's "Death and the Maiden", co-starring Ben Kingsley.

    Terrific actress, terrific person who has done much politically to in her personal life...

    Posted by: Cj | Jan 23, 2009 9:34:55 AM

  3. I know this is a good thing, but I honestly don't think I can sit through it without losing it.

    Posted by: shane | Jan 23, 2009 9:36:02 AM

  4. What exactly is "a gay child's LIFESTYLE" oh beacon of journalism that is The Hollywood Reporter?

    I'm really looking forward to watching this movie. As for Dr. James Dobson and his minions at Focus On My Anus? Not so much:

    Posted by: JohnInManhattan | Jan 23, 2009 9:40:05 AM

  5. The Hollywood Reporter - of all show biz publications! - refers to being a gay teenager as a "lifestyle"??? A pox on whoever made such a semantic choice!

    Posted by: Marty | Jan 23, 2009 9:56:57 AM

  6. This book was really instrumental in helping me and my parents. I almost did a thesis on it in Grad School.
    Not sure I'll be able to watch, as it hits too close to home. I have hope that it may change hearts and minds, like it did in my family.

    Posted by: Craig | Jan 23, 2009 9:58:07 AM

  7. I'm sure this will be worth the watch...


    she'll always be Ellen Ripley to me.

    Posted by: David | Jan 23, 2009 10:00:59 AM

  8. I'm sorry, I just can't take any more sad endings.

    Posted by: Michael W. | Jan 23, 2009 10:34:19 AM

  9. Almost as sad as his death is the death of the idea that making films about real emotion and tragedy ABOUT AIDS/GAYS is NOT "manipulative" or "cheesy." The same asshole critics would jack off all day to any film about 9/11 or the Holocaust.

    The ENDING is not sad. It is triumphant and redemptive as a mother realizes what she's done, what RELIGION did, and becomes a activist for people like her son....even that tireless defender of the Pseudo Jesus, Elizabeth Hasselback, didn't dare mumble a discouraging word when Weaver was on "The View" this week.

    Go to for events related to the film around the country this weekend, including one in LA with Sigourney herself, and one in DC with the HOT actor from "Guiding Light" who plays Bobby's boyfriend.

    Even if you don't/can't watch, write Lifetime and THANK THEM, and write the Hollywood Reporter and tell them you don't have a "lifestyle" you have A LIFE!!!!!

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | Jan 23, 2009 10:57:50 AM

  10. i simultaneously cant wait to see this and am also dreading it. the book is amazing but also completely devastating and im sure the movie will be the same. eveyone with gay kids should have to read this book.

    Posted by: ryan | Jan 23, 2009 3:12:37 PM

  11. While the book may have been groundbreaking ten years ago, so much has happened since that I don't think the term applies to the TV movie. Needless to say, it's still worth watching though.

    Posted by: anon | Jan 23, 2009 4:15:00 PM

  12. I just want Sigourney in everything. Incredible, intelligent, insightful.

    Love her.

    Posted by: Br!on | Jan 23, 2009 7:41:18 PM

  13. CJ: True dat on SW in "Death and the Maiden"--she does a foul mouth tirade on it that's priceless. That mouth was born to cuss.

    Posted by: blokrway | Jan 24, 2009 1:16:18 AM

  14. I just finished watching this. I think it really has something very strong to say to a large portion of the American population, i.e. the evangelicals and fundmentalists. Watching it hit a little too close to home, as Bobby Griffin's story reminded me a little too much of my own. Sigourney Weaver's performance is moving, the film is remarkably good for a made-for-TV Lifetime movie.

    Maybe I can get my parents to watch it...

    Posted by: Patrick | Jan 25, 2009 12:38:33 AM

  15. I watched it, as well, and I didn't think it was cheesey at all--it's a true frigging story, guys. Yeah--kind of a downer, but when you consider the whole story in context, at that time it actually took place, the end is VERY uplifting! Don't watch it, if you don't want to, but you'll be missing out.

    Posted by: troschne | Jan 28, 2009 12:50:19 AM

  16. Hi,

    How can South-Africans get a hold of this movie??? I would like to see it.



    Posted by: Japie van Deventer | Jan 28, 2009 4:55:43 AM

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