Made in 2000
as an ABC
Sunday Night Movie
, “The Growing Pains
Movie” tells the story of the Seaver
family eight years after the “Growing Pains” TV Show
went off the air.
The show left off with the family separating as Mike (Kirk Cameron) and Carol (Tracey Gold) Seaver stay in their series long home of Long Island while their parents, Dr. Jason Seaver (Alan Thicke) and Maggie Malone (Joanna Kearns) and siblings Ben (Jeremy Miller) and Chrissy (Ashley Johnson) relocate to Washington DC. The movie begins with explaining what they’ve all become over the last eight years: Jason Seaver has begun a psychiatric practice in Washington, and has written seven detective novels. Maggie is a press secretary for Mac Robinson, a politician running for congress in the district of their former Long Island community. Teen Delinquent Mike has grown up to be the youngest Vice President in the history of the advertising company he works for and is married to his former TV Show girlfriend Kate, with whom he has 3 adopted children from around the world. Carol is a high powered Wall Street Attorney and so wrapped up in her work that she rarely has relationships. Ben is the founder of a failed dot com business and cleans pools in California for a living, and Chrissy, although a student at the head of the class, has developed a smoking habit and an interest in filmmaking.
Mac Robinson has his campaign manager Scott fire Maggie at the beginning of his bid for congress, just as Jason is trying to convince Mike and Carol to come on holiday with the family for Thanksgiving / his and Maggie’s 30th Wedding Anniversary. When the family reunites, Maggie decides to move them back to New York and run against Robinson in the primary. The movie follows the story of her campaign.
Carol becomes her mother’s campaign manager, but also ends up having a secret affair with Robinson’s campaign manager, Scott. Mike handles the advertising, and Ben can’t seem to do anything right and is very lost with his place in the world, ending up getting arrested in a simultaneous broadcast with his mother’s political debate. Chrissy documents the entire thing with her video camera, and the family finds itself back together again, but this time in an adult world with adult situations.
On the whole, fans of the television show will enjoy coming back to these characters, especially if you grew up with them. Oh yeah, no mention whatsoever of what happened to the street kid they took in, Luke (Leonardo DiCaprio). I guess one can only presume…