When Love is not Enough
When her mother suffers a major heart attack, Billie Clark (Kristin Davis - Journey 2: The Mysterious Island) rushes to the hospital to see her, briefly getting to be with her before she passes away. But with her mother gone there is the matter of her sister, Elizabeth 'Baby' Davis (Tammy Blanchard - Moneyball), to deal with as whilst Baby is clever she also suffers from schizophrenia and had lived with their mother. With her family in agreement Billie welcomes Baby in to their home to stay with them as long as she follows some ground rules, such as no smoking in the house. But whilst things initially go well Baby's behaviour becomes increasingly volatile and difficult to deal with, putting a strain on the family and forcing Billie to face up to a difficult decision.
There is a scene in "Of Two Minds" where Billie takes her sister to the fashion boutique where she works and the first thing we see is how Billie's colleagues don't know how to act around Baby. But then this builds as all the fuss and noise in the shop becomes too much for Baby to cope with and she has an episode in the changing room. Meanwhile you have Billie on the outside of the changing room in tears as she is unable to do anything to help her sister or stop her from making a scene. It is an incredibly powerful scene but indicative of what you get in "Of Two Minds" as this is a mental health drama about Billie's love for her sister but being unable to cope with her when her schizophrenia takes hold. And alongside this we see how everyday life is too much for Baby to deal with having lived a sheltered and protected life with their mother where routine and familiarity helped her cope.
But alongside this look at Billie and Baby's struggles "Of Two Minds" also has drama involving Billie's son, Davis, who is a bit of a loner and seems to understand his aunt better than her own sister does. This in turn leads to issues which build to Billie questioning whether the family can cope long term with Baby living with them despite her desire to do right by her sister. And unsurprisingly Billie is torn as she becomes aware of the vicious cycle as when Baby takes her medication she is in control but when ever she decides to stop she then struggles again.
I won't tell you how "Of Two Minds" ends but we get to see the other side of the situation and some of the options which are available for families that are struggling to cope with a relative with a mental health issue. What I will say is that whilst I suspect those behind this movie were looking to open people's eyes to not just mental health issues but also the strain placed on the family, "Of Two Minds" feels like it wanted to entertain as well as inform. As such whilst there are powerful scenes, like the one I described, some of the movie feels like it is a little simplified in order to make this easy to watch for an audience who like TV movies, but still delivering that informative side at the same time.
What this all boils down to is that "Of Two Minds" is an insightful and grown up look at a situation which many people will never have to directly deal with. And it is both touching and eye opening due to all the different layers from blame to pent up frustration and so much more but done in a way which isn't in your face.