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An Unexpected Family (1996) Online

An Unexpected Family (1996) Online
Original Title :
An Unexpected Family
Genre :
Movie / Drama
Year :
Directror :
Larry Elikann
Cast :
Stockard Channing,Stephen Collins,Christine Ebersole
Writer :
Lee Rose
Type :
Time :
1h 34min
Rating :
An Unexpected Family (1996) Online

When Ruth Whitney abandons her two children with her sister Barbara is left to take care of them, at first none of them like it but soon they grow to like each other. Then over a year later Ruth comes back saying she wants her kids and Barbara goes to court to fight for custody.
Cast overview, first billed only:
Stockard Channing Stockard Channing - Barbara Whitney
Stephen Collins Stephen Collins - Sam
Christine Ebersole Christine Ebersole - Ruth Whitney
Noah Fleiss Noah Fleiss - Matt Whitney
Chelsea Russo Chelsea Russo - Megan Whitney
Jenny O'Hara Jenny O'Hara - Harriet Rothman
Ken Pogue Ken Pogue - Judge Whitlock
Benjamin Ratner Benjamin Ratner - Harry Weinstock
Sarah Strange Sarah Strange - Claudia
Kevin McNulty Kevin McNulty - Goldani
BJ Harrison BJ Harrison - Court Clerk
Fulvio Cecere Fulvio Cecere - Detective Barry Fox
Barry W. Levy Barry W. Levy - Brian
Rory J. Aylward Rory J. Aylward - Paramedic
Charles Siegel Charles Siegel - Dr. Fred

Barbara tells Matt and Meghan that she is nervous about them walking to school on thier own. Matt makes a comment on how she made them watch the movie Without a Trace (1983) 10 times. Stockard Channing was one of the stars of the movie.

User reviews



I saw this movie several years ago and thought, "That's worth seeing again." I think the characters are warm, and even though the plot is a bit predictable, I enjoyed it. A few weeks ago, I went into the video store to look for a movie to watch, and I remembered this movie, but not the title. Finally I caught part of it on TV and now, I plan to enjoy it again with my wife. So my review is that, though you may not remember the title, you might come away with the feeling that your life has been brightened for just a short while by watching this movie.


This is a beautiful little sentimental movie. If that is precisely the kind of movie that you are looking for, then I promise you that you will not be disappointed. If you choose to watch it because you like any of the stars in it you will be equally happy, since all the performances are good also.

I chose to watch it as one of the few Noah Fleiss films that I hadn't seen yet. I was not disappointed either! You know, this young star has so much talent that it is almost frightening! God willing, he will be on our screens for a very long time.


I loved watching this movie even though I always had the feeling the story was in many ways cut short. I think if the writer and director had really thought this project through they could have turned this into a mini series. I had the feeling they wanted to put as much in the movie as they possible could but only had 90 minutes to work with. By trying to do that they turned it into a very predictable movie. The cast was really well chosen. I have seen Stockard Channing in several other movies and I have to say the role of Barbara Witney fit her. The children played their part very well. As for the choice of music throughout the movie I have to say I was singing along the title song. As for the rest of the music, they were pleasant to hear. I also have to say that the locations chosen in the movie were interesting to look at. All together I have to say it is a good movie when you like the genre. I have recommended this movie to many of my friends and family even though I am not such a big fan of drama's.


A Great movie for the whole family. Realistically shows the problems of society today such as child abandonment. A great heart warming movie along with a wonderful and semi popular cast. I recommend this movie for people of all ages.


For my sins, I actually enjoyed this TV movie. The performances weren't great, but they weren't hideous either. I successfully predicted practically every plot turn, but as this was on at 2pm on a Tuesday I really wasn't expecting anything else. Stockard Channing and Stephen Collins looked a little embarrassed by their roles but still managed to generate enough chemistry to keep me watching. The kids were too cute and perfectly polite to have come from a really messed up background and there were a few moments that were so sugar-coated that I actually had to look away... that said it made for a better afternoon's entertainment than anything written by Danielle Steel, and I was encouraged enough by its slightly-above-average-for-a-TV-movie status to bother to come and write this review.

I would give this movie a six out of ten, and if by any chance they show the sequel tomorrow then yes I'll probably watch that too... perhaps I need to get out more, or maybe I'm secretly hoping to be swept off my feet by a middle-aged child-man and two cute kids, but I thought this movie was okay.


Ok, I make NO BONES of this, but I don't really like Stockard Channing, I think to be honest that she's quite a bad actor... But in this movie she was actually rather really very good! She manages to portray this role with some emotion and also manages to prove that perhaps she CAN take care of kids (not to mention her own career!)

I liked this movie for what it was, there were some bits that I didn't agree with and since I wasn't actually paying my full and undivided attention to it (although I DID watch it again afterwards) it was something that made me think `ahhhhhh.' This movie IS heart warming and designed with children and family in mind make no mistake! It's something that you sit down on a night and watch with your family and spend half the movie thinking that the mother was right! Don't you wish you could just drop your kids off sometimes and run the hell away? I know it isn't a good moral, but Stockard manages to carry off the portrayal of a person who has no idea what to do with children, and she manages to say some VERY cutting comments during this movie! I never realised the old girl had it in here!

The acting was rather good, Stockard was VERY good, and child actors… well, what else can I say other than `child actors' with deep sarcasm. The man was good, he managed to play the role of a caring `father type' without the problem's people now associate with a man who `likes' children… The mother of the children did her best, but looked like she belonged in a rehab clinic more than on stage of a movie set (which was the point I guess…) but it was rather good I think.

The story line was something that was rather good even though I thought that it sped along rather fast sometimes. The end with the court case was something that I could have gone without and the `Shock' revelation towards the end was something that I was expecting. It appears that Stockard can't do a movie lately without her being some sort of drink crazed women at one point of her life or another! I guess she just has that look about her which says `I've been in rehab fives times and I've been clean for the past 5 months.' (Stockard fans forgive me!)

This is something I would watch and forget about in the next five minutes after it being on, but I give it credit. For a TV movie it was rather well thought out and done and the acting (for what its worth) was rather very good indeed. Watch this if your feeling low about your family and realise that no matter how bad you might think you are at parenting, you could be worse! And at very least sit the kids down and tell them that if they're not good you'll leave them with your drunk aunt `so and so' for a few years' Hehehe, should shut them up for a while! But otherwise, sit back and enjoy, this movie is just rather nice, not good! But nice.


This is the sort of film which provides schedulers with material to fill those mid-week afternoon slots, where the citeria is "family", "inoffensive" and "bland". A cast of competent actors, led by the talented Stockard Channing struggle with poorly written lines and a predictable, lame plot. One to watch when you've finished watching the paint dry.