Review of "Unanswered Prayers" From The TV MegaSite
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Eric Close and Samantha Manthis

"Unanswered Prayers" review by Suzanne
Premieres on Lifetime Monday, November 29 at 9 pm ET/PT

I enjoyed watching was a little slow at first, and maybe I was just distracted, but I had a hard time figuring out that Ben and Lorrie were married and that Ben was the father of the teenager because Eric Close just looks so young still. He doesn't seem old enough to have a teenage son, and they purposely made Mathis look middle-aged since she is supposed to be competing with his young-looking high school sweetheart, Ava (Mädchen Amick).  So it took me a while to figure that out.  But after that, and some slow stuff, it got better.

I guess it really picked up after Ben and Ava started hanging out more. I know we are supposed to pull for the stable and loving family relationship between Ben and Lorrie, but the movie made them seem kind of boring.  This is a good family drama, though, so it has the kind of ending you might expect.  Patty Duke plays the grandma, and honestly, it is not a big enough part for her so she is kind of wasted.

In a way, all of the actors were wasted because they are all pretty good and should have been given better material. It's not like the movie is really bad, it just could have been better. I guess they were trying to seem like real life, but real life is too boring.  Older people, religious people, and kids should enjoy this holiday movie.

It has some nice songs by Garth Brooks because it is based on one of his songs.

PHOTOS (click on the thumbnail to see the larger photos):







Lifetime Television will premiere the original movie Unanswered Prayers, based on the popular Garth Brooks song of the same name that debuted at #1 on the Billboard and R&R charts. Starring Eric Close, Samantha Mathis and Patty Duke, Unanswered Prayers will premiere on Lifetime Monday, November 29, at 9PM ET/PT.

The film explores the themes of marriage, family, community and second chances with love, asking “Did I let the one I loved get away or is she right in front of me?” It is the story of a happily married father (Eric Close) living the American dream. When the woman (Mädchen Amick) of his high school fantasies returns home, he has to face his past and will be presented with a choice that could change his future forever. Samantha Mathis portrays his wife. Patty Duke portrays his mother-in-law.


Starring Eric Close, Samantha Mathis, Mädchen Amick and Patty Duke

LOS ANGELES (November 8, 2010) – Lifetime Television will premiere the original movie Unanswered Prayers, based on the popular Garth Brooks song of the same name that debuted at #1 on the Billboard and R&R charts. Unanswered Prayers will premiere on Lifetime Monday, November 29, at 9PM ET/PT.


The film explores the themes of marriage, family, community and second chances with love, asking “Did I let the one I loved get away or is she right in front of me?” It is the story of a happily married father (Eric Close) living the American dream. When the woman (Mädchen Amick) of his high school fantasies returns home, he has to face his past and will be presented with a choice that could change his future forever. Samantha Mathis portrays his wife. Patty Duke portrays his mother-in-law.


The film’s executive producers are Lisa Sanderson, Producing Partner and CEO of Red Strokes Entertainment, and multi-Grammy®-winning country music artist Garth Brooks. Certified by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) as the #1 selling solo recording artist in U.S. history, Brooks has sold more than 128 million albums and has won every accolade the industry can bestow on an artist. President Obama himself requested that Brooks headline his Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial, and Brooks currently plays 15 weekends a year at the Encore Theatre, Wynn Resort in Las Vegas.

Produced by Sony Pictures Television and Red Strokes Entertainment, Unanswered Prayers was directed by Emmy® Award winner Steven Schachter (Lifetime’s The Mermaid Chair, Door to Door). Andrea Baynes (Lifetime’s The 19th Wife and Sex and the Single Mom) served as coexecutive producer. Teleplay by Anne Gerard and Otis Jones based on a television story by Anne Gerard.


Sony Pictures Television is one of the television industry’s leading content providers. It produces and distributes programming in every genre, including series, telefilms, theatrical releases and family entertainment around the world and for every platform: broadcast and cable television, first-run and off-network syndication and digital distribution. In addition to one of the industry’s largest libraries of feature films and television shows, SPT boasts a current program slate that includes the top-rated daytime dramas and game shows, landmark off-network series, original animated series and critically acclaimed primetime dramas, comedies and telefilms. Internationally, SPT is a leader in local language productions around the world, some of which are co-produced with local partners and sells SPE-owned formats in approximately 70 countries. To better serve its clients and partners worldwide, SPT maintains offices throughout the world, including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands, the People’s Republic of China, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Venezuela and the United Kingdom. SPT’s worldwide television networks portfolio is a key strategy in SPE’s long-range commitment to the global marketplace, with 122 channel feeds, which are available in more than 140 countries reaching almost 438 million households worldwide. SPT also creates original content for and manages SPE’s premium video website, Crackle. Additionally, SPT is a part owner of cable channel GSN, FEARnet, the premier horror/thriller website and VOD service, and national media sales company ITN Networks, Inc. SPT advertiser sales is one of the premiere national advertising sales companies, handling the commercial inventory in SPT’s syndicated series as well as in all of SPE’s digital businesses in the United States, for Sony Music Entertainment and for the Tennis Channel. SPT ( is a Sony Pictures Entertainment company.


Red Strokes Entertainment is a film and television company, having been named after a Garth Brooks’ song, “The Red Strokes.” Reflecting Brooks’ unique talent to bring stories to life in song, he and partner Lisa Sanderson produced Call Me Claus for TNT, starring Whoopi Goldberg and Sir Nigel Hawthorne, garnering the highest ratings for that year and has become a holiday staple in television. Unanswered Prayers is a Thanksgiving gift to his audience. Red Strokes has also developed original ideas for feature films and television with Paramount, Disney, Fox and, most recently, New Line. Brooks and Sanderson co-wrote the song The Red Strokes, hence the name of their company. They also co-wrote the title track to Call Me Claus.


Lifetime Television is committed to offering the highest quality entertainment and information programming, and advocating a wide range of issues affecting women and their families. Lifetime Television®, Lifetime Movie Network®, Lifetime Real Women® and Lifetime Digital™ (which includes,, Lifetime Games,,, and are part of Lifetime Entertainment Services, LLC, a subsidiary of A&E Television Networks, LLC. A&E Television Networks is a joint venture of the Disney-ABC Television Group, Hearst Corporation and NBC Universal.

Eric Close as “Ben Beck”

Eric Close has starred in the television series Without a Trace, Now and Again, The Magnificent Seven, Dark Skies and McKenna. He will next star in the CBS CIA drama Chaos, directed by Brett Ratner. He also starred in the television movies Seven Deadly Sins (Lifetime Movie Network), Hercules, Follow the Stars Home, The Stranger Beside Me, Long Island Fever and Without Consent, as well as the Golden Globe Award® nominated-miniseries Taken, executive-produced by Steven Spielberg. Close’s feature film credits include Saving Angelo, Alvarez & Cruz, Liberty, Maine, The Sky Is Falling, Taking Liberty and American Me.

Close was born in Staten Island, New York, and lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two daughters.

Samantha Mathis as “Lorrie Beck”

Samantha Mathis has crafted a distinguished career in television, film and theatre. She will soon be seen in the thriller Good Day for It, opposite Robert Patrick, and in HBO’s upcoming season of Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Mathis’ television credits include the miniseries Nightmares & Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King, Salem’s Lot, First Years, Collected Stories, The Mists of Avalon, A Stranger’s Heart and Oprah Winfrey Presents: Mitch Albom’s For One More Day. She also appeared on Lost and Grey’s Anatomy.

Mathis first burst onto the film scene in Pump Up The Volume, opposite Christian Slater, followed by The Thing Called Love, alongside River Phoenix. Additional film credits include a starring role opposite John Travolta in The Punisher, Attraction, The Simian Line, American Psycho, Broken Arrow, The American President, How to Make an American Quilt, Jack and Sarah, Little Women, This is My Life, The Music of Chance and Touched. She has also appeared in numerous independent films such as Believe in Me, Local Color, The New Daughter, Order of Chaos, Lebanon, PA and Fathers and Sons. In 2002, Mathis made her Broadway debut in Arthur Miller’s The Man Who Had All the Luck, opposite Chris O’Donnell. She also appeared in Fortin Bras at the Signature Theater in New York and in Collected Stories, opposite Tony® Award winner Linda Lavin at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. Mathis was most recently seen on Broadway in Moises Kaufman’s 33 Variations, alongside Jane Fonda and Colin Hanks. Next Spring, she will be reprising her role in Los Angeles with Fonda. Mathis currently lives in New York City.

Mädchen Amick as “Ava Andersson”

Mädchen Amick is best known for her role as waitress “Shelly Johnson” on David Lynch’s television cult classic Twin Peaks and as “Lena Mathers” in the feature film Dream Lover with James Spader.

Born in Reno, Nevada, Amick’s name means “maiden” or “young woman” in German and results from the desire of her parents, Bill and Judy, to give their daughter a name more unusual than their own. When she was 16, she moved to Los Angeles, where she attended school while juggling a modeling career. Amick’s acting career began quite modestly with roles on the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation and Baywatch. Her first starring role in a feature film was in the Stephen King horror flick, Sleepwalkers. Other feature credits include Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, Trapped in Paradise, French Exit, Scenes of the Crime and Four Corners of Suburbia. Amick has additionally appeared on series such as CSI: NY, Damages, Californication, Gossip Girl and ER, just to name a few.

She will next be seen on the big screen in the post-apocalyptic thriller Priest, opposite Paul Bettany and Stephen Moyer. Amick lives in California and is married with two children.

Patty Duke as “Irene”

Over a career that has spanned six decades, Academy Award®-winning actress Patty Duke, has crafted a distinguished career in television, film and theater. Her impressive list of film credits includes the 1962 film The Miracle Worker, for which she won the Oscar® and Golden Globe®, Billie, Valley of the Dolls, Me, Natalie, The Swarm and Prelude to a Kiss. Duke’s numerous list of television credits include the series The Patty Duke Show, It Takes Two, Hail to the Chief, Karen’s Song and Amazing Grace, as well as the television movies My Sweet Charlie, If Tomorrow Comes, Two on a Bench, Nightmare, Captains and the Kings, Having Babies 3, A Family Upside Down, The Miracle Worker, Before and After, Mom, the Wolfman and Me, The Babysitter, The Women’s Room, A Time to Triumph, Call Me Anna, Last Wish, A Killer Among Friends, Cries From the Heart, No Child of Mine, A Matter of Justice, Falling in Love with the Girl Next Door and Love Finds a Way Home, totaling approximately 100 movies for television. Duke won three Emmys® (ten nominations), two Golden Globes® and a People’s Choice Award.

Duke’s career first took off in 1959 from her critically-acclaimed stage performance as “Helen Keller” in The Miracle Worker, opposite Anne Bancroft. She went on to star in Isle of Children, Meetings on the Porch, Follies, Gypsy and Broadway’s Oklahoma! Duke recently finished a year long run on stage at San Francisco’s Orpheum Theater as “Madame Morrible” in the hit show Wicked.

Duke has written two best-selling books, Call Me Anna and A Brilliant Madness: Living with Manic Depression Illness.

Duke currently lives in Idaho with her husband.


GARTH BROOKS, Executive Producer is certified by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) as the #1 selling solo artist in U.S. history and has sold in excess of 128 million albums. Brooks is the only solo artist in RIAA history to have six albums top the 10 million mark. His most recent release The Ultimate Hits has been certified 5x platinum.

In 2007 Brooks became the first artist to put out a simultaneous edition of his latest collection for a charitable cause. The “pink edition” of The Ultimate Hits was and is available only at the Susan G Komen website. His body of work – including the groundbreaking No Fences, Ropin’ The Wind, The Hits, and Double Live – propelled country music as a genre to the front pages of newspapers worldwide and the covers of magazines, to the point where Forbes declared on its cover, “Country Conquers Rock” and featured Brooks in a major music feature. According to the RIAA, Brooks is the topselling solo artist of the 20th century.

The key to his record-setting success lies within the personality and talent of Garth Brooks. It has been said that through the 1990s, his only real competition was himself. Brooks brought daring individualism and a love of music to the table. His wide range encompasses a variety of styles which include working class blues, honky tonk, bluegrass and arena rock. Brooks’ easy-going, approachable charisma was matched only by his fearless willingness to take chances and step outside the lines. He has had an unprecedented run so far and opened the doors for many more country artists to follow. Brooks has received every accolade the recording industry can bestow on an artist, including: 2 Grammys, 17 American Music Awards, 11 Country Music Association Awards, 18 Academy of Country Music Awards, 5 World Music Awards, 12 People’s Choice Awards and 36 Billboard Music Awards. He was named Artist of the ’90s at the 1997 Blockbuster Entertainment Awards, received the Artist Achievement Award at the 1997 Billboard Music Awards, was named “Artist of the Decade” at the American Music Awards in 2000 and the Academy of Country Music Awards in 1999. In the midst of one of the most successful careers in music history, Brooks retired in 2001, delivered his last record for Capitol Records and moved back to Oklahoma to raise his children. While in retirement when called upon by events greater than his own selfinterest, he returned to the stage. The latest of these was when President Obama himself requested that Brooks headline his Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial. He performed as President Obama, his wife Michelle, their girls, Joe and Jill Biden and a crowd of over 300,000 lined the mall from the Lincoln Memorial all the way to the Washington Monument. It was a moment in history when all did the “wave” to Brooks’ performance of “Shout” while the President sang along. He was called upon once again to perform for President Obama’s very first late night television appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. When the Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, asked for Brooks’ help, he responded by performing five concerts in two days where proceeds from 83,000 tickets sold were donated to efforts to prevent fire catastrophes from happening again. Portions of the live concerts were shown as a TV special titled, Garth Brooks: Live in L.A. where viewers donated to the organization Fire Intervention Relief Effort (FIRE).

On October 15, 2009 Brooks announced that he was out of retirement and soon entered a five year relationship with Las Vegas resort developer, Steve Wynn. “I am naturally nervous, but it feels good to be out from under the low ceiling of ‘retirement’ I put on myself.”

LISA A. SANDERSON, Executive Producer is CEO and Producing Partner for Red Strokes Entertainment, a film and television company founded by superstar Garth Brooks. She is also President and CEO of Sanderson Entertainment. Sanderson and Brooks have partnered with Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds & Tracey Edmonds to develop/produce a feature film for Paramount Pictures. The film was based on a character created by Brooks. Jeb Stuart (Die Hard, The Fugitive) wrote the script, The Lamb. They also developed a feature film project at Warner Bros., The Sprinkler Queen with producer Sandra Bullock, as well as several television projects, which include executive producing My Dead Dad, a pilot for ABC Family, written by Tracey Gamble (creator of 8 Simple Rules). Sanderson and Brooks were executive producers along with Whoopi Goldberg on Call Me Claus, starring Goldberg. The movie premiered on TNT with the year’s highest ratings for a television movie. Sanderson and Brooks are also executive producers on the pilot The Greybar Hotel, based on Brooks’ story.

Sanderson and Brooks started their creative collaboration when Sanderson wrote an episode of the hit NBC series, Empty Nest for “guest star” Garth Brooks. She developed the show for him while vice president of development for Emmy® award-winning actor Richard Mulligan’s film and television company, A Great Jalopy. Sanderson is one of the writers on Brooks’ song, “The Red Strokes,” which appears on Brooks’ album, In Pieces. The album has sold in excess of 8 million copies to date, winning an Academy of Country Music award for the music video of the song. She is credited as one of the publishers of the song through Sanderson Music. Sanderson is also a writer/publisher of the title track for Call Me Claus. The song appears on Garth Brooks & the magic of Christmas: Songs from Call Me Claus CD.

Sanderson was also a feature film development executive at The Walt Disney Company and Twentieth Century Fox in conjunction with Red Strokes Entertainment. She is the President of the Board of Santa Monica based One Voice, a non-profit organization helping low-income families. Sanderson has raised over 3 million dollars for the organization and was honored by the scholars program being named after her late father, Robert W. Sanderson.

Sanderson and her family live in Los Angeles, California.

STEVEN SCHACHTER, Director is an acclaimed writer/director who has directed numerous television movies and won multiple Emmy® Awards, including two for Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special as well as Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special for TNT’s Door to Door in 2003. He received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Made for Television Movie in 2005 for TNT’s The Wool Cap. He and William H. Macy have become a wellestablished writing team and regularly wear the hats of writer/actor/director. Schachter and Macy’s work together includes the telefilms Above Suspicion, Every Woman’s Dream, The Con and TNT’s A Slight Case of Murder, as well as The Deal, an independent feature which premiered at Sundance and starred Meg Ryan and Macy. Schachter’s career began at Goddard College, where he studied with David Mamet. While there, he also met Macy, his now long-time associate. The three of them later went on to found The St. Nicholas Theater in Chicago, where Schachter served as Artistic Director, directing more than 20 productions and winning the Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Director. One project in particular, Mamet’s The Water Engine, began at the Public Theatre and then later moved to Broadway. At 24, this made Schachter one of the youngest directors on Broadway. Schachter also directed regional theatre throughout the United States. He then directed The Water Engine for TNT and was nominated for the CableAce Award. Other television directing credits include the telefilms The Engagement Ring, It Must Be Love, Just a Walk in the Park, For All Time and the Lifetime Original Movie The Mermaid Chair, starring Kim Bassinger.


Produced by Sony Pictures Television and Red Strokes Entertainment in association with Lifetime Television




Television Story by ANNE GERARD
Executive Producer LISA A. SANDERSON
Executive Producer GARTH BROOKS
Co-Executive Producer ANDREA BAYNES
Produced by JAMES SPIES
Director of Photography ERIC VAN HAREN NOMAN
Production Designer ELOISE STAMMERJOHN
Costume Designer REBECCA BENTJEN

Based on the song “Unanswered Prayers” by Garth Brooks, Pat Alger and Larry Bastian

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Updated 11/3/10 


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