Invisible Child (1999) starring Rita Wilson, Victor Garber, Tushka Bergen, Mae Whitman, David Dorfman, Freda Foh Shen directed by Joan Micklin Silver Movie Review

Invisible Child (1999)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Rita Wilson and Tushka Bergen in Invisible Child (1999)

The Curious Factor

Well I will say one thing for "Invisible Child" it is certainly curious and thank goodness it is as it is curiosity and the wondering where it is going which keeps you watching. Get past the curiosity factor and sadly "Invisible Child" falls to pieces on all levels from the acting to the camera work to the actual logical side of things.

When Gillian (Tushka Bergen) sees an ad go up for a nanny she heads for an interview and meets Tim Beeman (Victor Garber - Let Me Call You Sweetheart) and his children Rebecca (Mae Whitman - Hope Floats) and Sam (David Dorfman) in their lovely house. But Gillian is thrown when Tim mentions a third child the imaginary Maggie which his wife Annie (Rita Wilson - Jingle All the Way) believes they have and the family play along with. Uneasily Gillian goes along with it leading to many awkward situations and a realisation that Tim and Rebecca go to great lengths to play along with Annie's imaginary third child. But it all gets too much for Gillian who seeks advice from outside of the family over the situation.

Victor Garber in Invisible Child (1999)

So yes here we have a storyline about a mother of two who truly believes she has a third child called Maggie and the family actually goes along with it. And yes not only is that different to what you normally get from a made for TV movie but also incredibly curious. At times it is also quite good from seeing how it affects Rebecca who as the oldest child has to be smart about playing along to how Tim casually plays along with it out of love for Annie. But there is no doubt it is weird and a bit too unbelievable especially the whole side of the loving husband who has carried on this charade yet it is because it is weird that you keep on watching.

Unfortunately beneath the curious side "Invisible Child" has problems more than just the quirkiness of the story. There is a director who seems hypnotised by Rita Wilson's smile and eyes giving us many lingering close-ups to the point of over kill. Then there is the acting and in fairness this movie must have been hard to make because of its unusual concept but it is shaky. It also features some over the top accents, not so much Gillian's but one from a supporting performance.

What this all boils down to is that "Invisible Child" certainly has the curious factor and it is this which keeps you watching, a strange fascination to know where it is going to go. But it is a movie with a few problems starting with the basic concept.