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Meryl Streep plays a rather dinky homemaker (for a costume party she dresses up like Dorothy from "The Wizard of Oz" for crying out loud!). Renee Zellweger is her daughter Ellie, who was always closer to her father (William Hurt). In fact, she followed in his footsteps and became a writer (while her underachiever younger brother, handsome Tom Everrett Scott, fails American Literature at summer school). When she comes home to visit her parents for her father's birthday, she soon learns that her mother has advanced cancer and will need help. Naturally, dear old dad can't take a sabbatical from the university where he teaches - although he was certainly able to take one while working on his novel a few years earlier - so he rather unfairly imposes on Ellie to leave her successful life back in New York and move in. It isn't long before Ellie realizes that he's cheating on her mother every chance he gets.
Both Streep and Zellweger (remember her from Jerry Maguire?) are fine actresses, and One True Thing was well plotted. However, Hurt's character was terribly unlikable for his many infidelities - especially while his wife is dying (you'd think he'd have enough respect to at least wait until she's been cold a few days!). I also thought that the movie dragged on a little too long - as a "People" critic said, you keep waiting for the tearful death scene. Still, One True Thing is worth seeing.