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Kirstie Alley has a very long history of starring in TV series and movies. She was Saavik on Star Trek, but quit after disagreements, and then she joined the cast of Cheers as Rebecca Howe, the unrecognized overachieving businesswoman and building superintendent that falls in love with the wrong men for the wrong reasons. She appeared as the same character doing the very same thing that she did on "Cheers" on the canonical series "Wings".
But in 2003 she produced and starred in a TV movie for CBS called "Profoundly Normal". This movie is not comical like many other things that she starred in. It is exactly the opposite. This movie is based on actual events and is about two young girls that are growing up in a group home. They are mentally disabled along with the other residents of the home.
The movie is similar to Sybill, which is about a girl that has the then-unrecognized multiple personality disorder which was formed as a defense for childhood stress and is a form to block out bad memories. The psychologist that reveals this information is almost laughed at over and over again, until she reaches a breakthrough and is in the process of curing her. Recovery is a very long journey. This film is not to be confused with Cybil Shepherd's series "Cybil" which was produced by Carsey-Werner. There are also many other stories, and are all based on actual events. The movie Profoundly Normal is presented as an autobiography of all the main characters which are being interviewed at different points in the film.
The name of the girl that Kirstie Alley portrays in "Profoundly Normal" is Donna Lee Selby. Donna is also portrayed by Anna Mary Wilson and Danielle Bouffard. Her friend is Margaret. She is portrayed by Catherine Fitch and Brittany Bristow. These children live through many shocking and extreme events in their lives even when they were young children. One example is the children are panicking when one of the residents in the group home is found dead.
As they grow up, they are living on their own and do things that everybody else does. This includes having the exact same responsibilities. Donna and Margaret find a place to stay together. They look at one of their neighbors which holds up two fingers. They are unsure what this means and mimic the gesture back towards him. And then he smiles, and then closes the blinds on his window. It is implied that he knows of them and their history and also does not intend to open the blinds again. Their living environment is quite run down and mediocre. Donna progresses tremendously while Margaret progresses slower. Donna also falls in love with a man named Ricardo Thornton (Delroy Lindo, Terrence Matthews, and Gary Wilson).
When Donna becomes pregnant, she is briefed on the responsibility of caring for children. She is also informed by medical professionals of the responsibility to care for children that are disabled. They tell her that the possibility exists for her baby to end up with physical disabilities. He turns out okay and only has a mild learning disability.
Unfortunately Margaret starts having breakdowns at various places, such as at The Supermarket, and at the sidewalk while waiting to cross the street. She is carried away and is not mentioned after that.
Margaret and Ricardo have learned to drive, and the movie ends with them driving past their old group home, now in ruins having been destroyed and vandalized by other people with "Retards" included as part of the graffiti. She cringes at this as well as other painful memories and then the family stops by at a swing which Donna gets on and mentions her love of swings and swinging on them.
Profoundly Normal aired on CBS in February 9th, 2003 and has been available both the movie and soundtrack for home releases.
Additional Cast Members:
Rosemary Dunsmore, Anastasia Hill, Marilo Nunez, Jane Luk, Beverly Cooper, Rothaford Gray, Martha Burns, Christopher Lortie, Victoria Adilman, Rhonda Hall, Mike Forler, Steve Richard, Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, Captain James Washington, Neville Edwards, Patrice Goodman, Marium Carvell, Katherine East, Thomas Patrice, Paulette Sinclair, Maria Vacratsis, and Kevin Dulhaney as Ricky, their son.