Three short stories by Grace Paley, adapted to film by Mirra Bank and Ellen Hovde (with a screenplay assist from John Sayles). Ellen Barkin is tough and appealing in the first episode, as a single mother determined to raise her children without outside assistance; when she rejects an uninviting suitor, she must put up with his efforts to win over her kids in the hopes that they will force her into marriage. But the film never manages to rise above a pervasive PBS ideological smugness and an unimaginative visual style. With Kevin Bacon, Maria Tucci, Lynn Milgrim, and Sudie Bond.