What do I know?
Oprah Winfrey and Mitch Albom have some sort of mystical pipeline that feeds directly into the heart of the general public.
Winfrey is ubiquitously popular. Albom writes sappy hardcover pamphlets,
Tuesdays With Morrie
The Five People You Meet in Heaven
, etc., that rarely crack 200 pages, and cost more than 20 bucks and sell in the kajillions.
So everybody, generally, should enjoy the cheesy
Oprah Winfrey Presents: Mitch Albom's "For One More Day
," airing tomorrow at 9 p.m. on 6ABC.
I have no idea why. And maybe ABC doesn't either, but at least it's smart enough to come up with that ridiculous title, a bald-faced attempt to entrap viewers. In fact the only way to improve on that formula is if it were:
Oprah Winfrey Presents: Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts and Santa Claus in Mitch Albom's "For One More Day," Featuring Harry Potter and Benji the Dog
But instead of Tom, you get Michael Imperioli, who takes another try at a car crash into the bushes. This time, instead of having Tony Soprano around to strangle him, he wanders off to his old ball field, so rich with memories, where he meets his dead mom.
And it's not Julia, but the wonderful Ellen Burstyn, who bustles around through the film with a kindly smile and words of wisdom.
(There is no wizardry, except in one scene when Imperioli magically changes his sneakers into baseball cleats between second and third, and still almost makes it in under the tag. And Santa is nowhere to be seen. But there is frequent dog-barking in the background, which got my dog, Woody's, attention, until he noticed what was going on in the rest of the movie and fell asleep.)
I am not allowed to fall asleep, so I just sat there watching, and set the world's record for eye-rolls and headshakes by a viewer of a made-for-TV movie.
Far be it from me to tell you what happens. It's obviously heartwarming, because Burstyn says so to her suicidal, alcoholic, loser son: "Once somebody is in your heart, they're never totally gone."
The same could be said of too-spicy spaghetti sauce.
I won't give away the plot because it's all apparently supposed to be a head-slapping surprise, though it was pretty obvious to me after about 20 minutes, and I couldn't slap my head anyway because I was too busy shaking it.
Turns out our bad-driving hero was once in the World Series (in addition to sappy pamphlets, Albom also writes sports), but that was a long time ago, and now he's just a drunk salesman living in the past.
His big moment was in 1973, but Imperioli never looks old enough to make that believable. And he played for - the Mets!
Come to think of it, the general public may have a hard time falling for this one.