Doing Time on Maple Drive tells the story of the Carter family. Husband Phil (James Sikking) is a successful restaurant owner married to Lisa (Bibi Besch). Their three children are all grown up: Karen (Jayne Brook) who is married to Tom (David Byron), Tim (Jim Carrey), who works in his father’s restaurant and Matt (William McNamara), who is a college student engaged to Allison (Lori Loughlin).
After Matt is injured in a car accident, he comes home to convalesce. During his recovery, the family shows itself to be totally dysfunctional. Tim is an alcoholic, Matt is gay and hiding the fact from his parents. Allison has broken up with him because of his gay status. The car accident was his attempt at ending his life to relieve the pressure of lying. His mother Lisa is in total denial about the family problems.
When Tom finds out that his pregnant wife, Karen, has considered having an abortion rather than bring a child into her dysfunctional family, he is furious and confronts her father, telling him he will not allow him to destroy his and Karen’s family. He and Karen go away. Matt confronts his mother telling her that he knows she is aware that he is gay. Although Lisa still struggles with her denial, Phil starts to try and understand his family’s problems.
“Rather than simplify the issues it raise or reduce its themes to soothing psychobabble or moral lessons, this movie does its best to draw you in with simple realism, which allows for complication, ambivalence, and other good things.”
— Ken Tucker, Entertainment Weekly
Did You Know?
The portrayal of Andy was Philip Linton’s final performance before his death. The TV movie was aired one month afterwards. Jim Carrey starred in Doing Time on Maple Drive in a rare early dramatic role. Review our Gay Themed Films Here