23. Invisible Child
Original Air Date: March 8, 1999
Director: Joan Micklin Silver
Stars: Rita Wilson, Victor Garber, Tushka Bergen
Lesson Learned: When in doubt, quote MLK.
We'd call Invisible Child a shameless rip-off of Lars and the Real Girl, but this cheesy made-for-TV dud was actually released nearly a decade earlier (so maybe that makes Lars a shameless, but thoughtful and well-executed rip-off?). In this instance, Rita Wilson stars as mom Annie, who's convinced that she has three children instead of the actual two. Her family struggles to be accommodating, assisting her husband (Victor Garber) in pretending her invisible daughter is real, mainly out of fear that they could be split up were anyone to report her condition.
Regretfully, the fam's trifling nanny puts a call into child protective services. Who'd have guessed that the glue to keep them together would be Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech. No, seriously.