Sacrifices of the Heart



Hallmark Channel

Saturday, March 3

9 p.m. 

Hallmark Channel's "Sacrifices of the Heart" is a slow-going yet effective drama centered on the subject of Alzheimer's. More to the point, the story focuses on the family sacrifices that often must be made when the disease strikes. Blessed with a solid cast, including Melissa Gilbert and the always watchable Ken Howard, the original movie gets by on its familiar faces and theme more than anything inherently original in the material.

"Heart's" author is Patti Davis, whose father, President Reagan, as we all know, was stricken with Alzheimer's. Davis makes her case here by showing the audience how the disease strengthened her relationship with her father.

Gilbert plays a successful attorney who learns of her father's disease and chooses to help him by making a large personal and professional sacrifice. There are some other dramatic elements thrown in for good measure, all in an attempt to hoist up the movie's appeal to family viewers. But the main story line is simple enough: Taking action is the only choice we have. Slow it might be, but the movie is heartfelt as well.