Kate Rice


Recently, I (re)watched 1994’s Corrina, Corrina. It stars Ray Liotta and Whoopie Goldberg — and it just happened to be the week that Ray Liotta died.  

Corrina, Corrina’s set in the late 1950s, and showcases a different side to the man generally cast as the heavy. Liotta plays Manny Singer, a recent Jewish widower. Tina Majorino’s his daughter, Molly. She’s too young to understand death and, devastated over the loss of her mother, has stopped speaking. 

Enter Whoopi Goldberg’s Corrina. After a disastrous/amusing first try hiring a housekeeper, Manny interviews Corrina, who connects with Molly in a way no one else has since her mother’s death. Corrina accepts Molly’s lack of speech and finds a way to communicate that works for them both. 

After a time, and largely due to Corrina’s care and influence, Molly opens up again. And Manny, an advertising jingle writer, finds his groove again, too — at work and at home.

Molly loves it all. Getting to know Corrina’s family and sharing her experiences, never questioning whether it’s OK to bond with someone whose skin’s a different color. Manny, too, becomes enamored with Corrina. And while he understands their differences, there’s only one brief moment he reacts to a neighbor’s prying, disapproving eyes — then pointedly chooses to disregard the animosity. 

Corrina herself receives more of a lecture on her budding romance than Manny. Her sister, married with three kids of her own, warns Corrina that a mixed relationship can never work. But Corrina’s an optimist, opening herself up to both father and daughter.

Corrina, Corrina doesn’t spend a lot of time on interracial issues, focusing instead on the relationship between Corrina, Molly, and Manny. Maybe you’ll like its sweet nature; maybe you’d prefer a harder-hitting drama. I say if you’re in the mood for a feel-good flick, give this one a try.

Watch Corrina, Corrina for a few bucks on Amazon, or search for other streaming options, as they change daily, it seems. Or, pretend it’s 1994 and buy it on DVD or Blu-Ray.