Originally filmed in 2001 under the title "My Beautiful Son," the made-for-cable Strange Relations stars comedian Paul Reiser in the largely noncomic role of 39-year-old Manhattan psychiatrist Dr. Jerry Lipman. Diagnosed with leukemia, Lipman desperately seeks out a close relative -- any close relative -- for a crucial bone marrow transplant. The news from his mother, Esther Lipman (Olympia Dukakis), is both dispiriting and shocking; Jerry, it seems, was adopted as an infant, and his real family is in far-off England. Flying to Liverpool in search of that all-important donor, Jerry is reunited with his birth mother, an earthy Liverpudlian named Sheila Fizpatrick (Julie Walters). The ensuing rapport between stars Reiser and Walters is ample compensation for the film's weaker passages and unbelievable plot contrivances. Lensed on-location in New York City and London, Strange Relations made its Showtime network bow on March 31, 2002.
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