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Parallel Lives is a 1994 American made-for-television mystery-drama film written, directed and produced by Linda Yellen which returns some actors and similar patterns of Yellen's previous work, Chantilly Lace.[1]

Parallel Lives
Parallel lives 1994 film tv.jpg
Written byGisela Bernice
Linda Yellen
Directed byLinda Yellen
StarringJames Belushi
Liza Minnelli
Gena Rowlands
Music byPatrick Seymour
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
Producer(s)Linda Yellen
Kathy Zotnowski (associate producer)
Tracy McGrath (line producer)
Production location(s)California
CinematographyPaul Cameron
Editor(s)Paul Morton
Jan Northrop
Running time105 minutes
Production company(s)Showtime Networks
Sundance Institute
Original networkShowtime
Picture formatColor
Audio formatStereo
Original releaseAugust 14, 1994

The film features an all-star cast: James Belushi, LeVar Burton, Lindsay Crouse, James Brolin, Jack Klugman, Liza Minnelli, Dudley Moore (in his final film role), Ally Sheedy, Robert Wagner, Patricia Wettig, JoBeth Williams, Jill Eikenberry, Gena Rowlands and Treat Williams.

Parallel Lives was broadcast August 14, 1994 on Showtime.[2]



A college reunion turns into a tangled web of passion, romance and intrigue as old friends and enemies catch up with each other's lives.



The movie was developed by Yellen with the assistance of the Sundance Institute.[1] As with Chantilly Lace, it uses "guided improvisations"[3] with the actors, after receiving some general character outlines, free to improvise.[1]

Parts of the film were shot in Salt Lake City, Utah and California.[4]


The movie received mixed reviews. New York Times critic John Leonard argued: "'Parallel Lives' is injured in its lightness of being by Yellen's added structure. But until it sinks in murky narrative waters, it's a marvel of raw edges and wild wit and surprise cunning, of craft that goes up like a kite to catch some lightning."[2] The Variety critic Ray Loynd wrote: "When the movie works best (...), this is a movie that tends to make The Big Chill look sodden."[1]

On the other hand, Lynne Heffley opened her review for the Los Angeles Times with these words: "From the sublime to the ridiculous... and the ridiculous has the edge in 'Parallel Lives.'[5] Jerry Roberts in his Encyclopedia of Television Film Directors defined the film as "a cattle call at the actors unemployment line"[6] and film critic Lewis Beale in his video review for the New York Daily News claimed that: "Linda Yellen's film wants to be hip, moving and Robert Altmanesque (overlapping dialogue and an improvisational feel), but it's simply tedious and stupid."[7]


  1. ^ a b c d Roy Loynd (11 August 1994). "Parallel Lives". Variety. Retrieved 17 November 2011.
  2. ^ a b John Leonard (1 August 1994). "The Unmaking of a President". New York Magazine. p. 55.
  3. ^ Ken Tucker (12 August 1994). "TV Review: Parallel Lives". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 17 November 2011.
  4. ^ D'Arc, James V. (2010). When Hollywood came to town: a history of moviemaking in Utah (1st ed.). Layton, Utah: Gibbs Smith. ISBN 9781423605874.
  5. ^ Lynne Heffley (13 August 1994). "TV Review : 'Parallel Lives' Draws Uneven Line Between Fun, Banality". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 17 November 2011.
  6. ^ Jerry Roberts (2009). Encyclopedia of Television Film Directors , Volume 1. Scarecrow Press. p. 636. ISBN 978-0-8108-6138-1.
  7. ^ Lewis Beale (9 March 1995). "Video Reviews". New York Daily News. Retrieved 17 November 2011.

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