‘Ice Cream in the Cupboard’ is a deeply personal film about a couple struggling with the sudden diagnosis of a disease that completely changes their lives.
Directed by: Drew Pollins.
Starring: Jaime King, Tobin Bell, Andrea Londo, Dana Ashbrook, Sean Whalen, Amber Frank, Mathew St. Patrick Claudia Ferri, Ryan Francis, Julian de la Celle, Ross Kobelak, Susan Berger, Nancy Daly, David S. Jung, Ravi Naidu, Cecilia Benevich, Katie Molinaro, James Taku Leung, Gabriel Freilich, Chris Barry, Cristy Joy, Forest Baker, Erica Allseitz, Erik Donovan.
Country: United States.
Running time: 90 minutes.
It doesn’t matter the theme or the subject, any drama movie that shows a family being broken apart by an external and unexpected element, is a reflection of something much more personal than what we see or get to analyze. These movies are products of testimonies, sometimes even books. But they will always be the version that was decided to be told by someone. This “expression” is natural. We are storytellers, and we thrive on how we do it in order to communicate something effectively.
Pat Moffett wrote a book when his life changed, when he decided to take a certain path on the most important crossroad of his life. The result was an acclaimed story of struggle, honesty and pure unconditional love. His wife Carmen was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s in 1998 and when her condition turned from tragic to dangerous, she was admitted, and Moffett started writing. Years later we come upon a work of pure drama and realism. Ice Cream in the Cupboard is an adaptation of his book and with its premise, it could easily be confused with a melodramatic tragedy that looks like any “made for TV” movie with a typical ending. Fortunately, there’s nothing common in Drew Pollins‘ adaptation of the book, and Ice Cream in the Cupboard is a solid, character driven film about a theme we must acknowledge.
Dana Ashbrook and Claudia Ferri are the main stars of a movie that needs down to earth interpretations. Their roles as Pat and Carmen are filled with chemistry and the natural balances of surprise mixed with realism. However, this is not a love story that contains the same scenes of discovery, passion, neglect, and recognition. This is Moffett’s version of the events that ended the household he formed. Ice Cream in the Cupboard feels like a complete story about effects and reactions. Ashbrook has never been better in his career, and Ice Cream in the Cupboard makes us think how his roles are always secondary. His character is filled with principle and he overcomes obstacles just the way he can, which doesn’t mean the way he must.
Ice Cream in the Cupboard is not a continuous plot filled with adversity and the heroes that face a horrible disease like this one. It’s not that kind of movie. The formula is passed on and Moffett participates in a script about a man who doesn’t know how to deal with the unknown, and he just reacts. His actions are filled with fear, ignorance, and the basic behavior that’s expected. If you stop the question what he does, maybe this is not the movie for you. In order for the movie to work, you must accept some facts, and they may not be fair for everyone. A heartbreaking ending (which is not tragic), takes us to the best place we could be: our memory, the only resource that never gets tired and which holds the most important treasure of all. Ice Cream in the Cupboard doesn’t hold you in a dramatic and powerful grip. It just presents you with a touch of humanity like few movies do nowadays.