Hunger Point

Starring Barbara Hershey and Christina Hendricks
Directed by Joan Micklin Silver

Hunger Point, an original Lifetime movie, aired for the first time in January, 2003. 


Meet the Hunters — your typical all-American family: two committed parents and two lovely daughters. However, looks can be deceiving because this family is plagued by the nit-picking comments of an overzealous mother determined to keep her daughters thin. The results of this mother’s tyranny is unimaginable. This movie really captures the dangers of eating disorders like no other. Based on the best-selling book of the same name.

Hunger Point

An original movie for LIFETIME by Joan Micklin Silver, starring Barbara Hershey and Christina Hendricks

“An unusually honest, painfully funny novel about a tight-knit family’s struggle.” Entertainment Weekly

Twenty-six-year-old Frannie Hunter just moved back home. Bright, wry, blunt, and irreverent, she invites you to witness her family’s unraveling. Her Harvard-bound sister is anorexic, her mother is having an affair, her father is obsessed with the Food Network, and her grandfather wants to plan her wedding (even though she has no fiancé, let alone a steady boyfriend).

By turns wickedly funny and heartbreakingly bittersweet, HUNGER POINT chronicles Frannie’s triumph over her own self-destructive tendencies, and offers a powerful exploration of the complex relationships that bind together a contemporary American family. You will never forget Frannie, a “sultry, suburban Holden Caulfield,” whom critics have called “the most fully realized character to come along in years,” (Paper) nor will you forget HUNGER POINT, an utterly original novel that stuns with its amazing insights and dazzles with its fresh, distinctive voice.

Praise & Reviews

“The novel is Frannie’s semi-picaresque odyssey from self-loathing to self-acceptance and sanity (and) is as recklessly candid as perhaps only a first novel can be.” —New York Times

“[A] wonderfully obsessive novel. The wise-cracking heroine of Jillian Medoff’s bitterly funny HUNGER POINT deals with her dysfunctional universe by gorging herself on sex.” —Vanity Fair

“Jillian Medoff writes with bone-scraping clarity, pitiless insight and (tough in a novel where everybody suffers) vast, almost shameless, humor…Medoff shows considerable skill in crafting a voice…HUNGER POINT is no low-calorie, no-salt novel; instead it is rich with sweetness and depth in intermingling flavors more satisfying even than Belgian chocolate. It’s not just a novel about anorexia, it’s about families: the terrible things they do to one another, the lengths they go to save one another…The novel might have read like yet another dispatch from the Prozac Nation, but Medoff writes too pointedly, with too much apparently effortless insight into the head of young girl America.” —Atlanta Journal Constitution

“In this affecting first novel, Medoff captures the angst of female gen Xers as manifested in eating disorders, random sexual encounters and a vague sense of hopelessness…Everyone is a mess in this book, but the author manages to give her characters some dignity…Medoff has written a funny novel that confronts the terrors of anorexia and other modern ills with empathy and understanding…A dollop of humor makes her sweet, sad meditation on craving love easier to swallow.” —People

“Uproariously funny…raw-boned…promising and revealing and tailor-made for readers fighting memories of…stolen self-esteem.” —Newsday

“HUNGER POINT delivers one of the most fully realized narrators to come along in years — a sultry, suburban Holden Caulfield. It also details, in sections alternately hilarious and harrowing, the turbulent relationships women forge with their own bodies. It’s subject matter that every man who cares about women should study.” —Paper

“In her seamless first novel, Jillian Medoff explores the relationship of women to food, sex, men, and each other…Frannie’s voice is bright, wry, vulgar, and brilliantly contemporary…The novel succeeds in working through dark, profound topics in a tone that is surprisingly entertaining…With humor, Frannie wards off the evils of pop psychology and self-pity that so often mar similar novels. Her personal grace, strength and warmth embody the power and ultimate success of HUNGER POINT.” —Cleveland Plain Dealer

“An unusually honest, painfully funny novel about a tight-knit family’s struggle.” —Entertainment Weekly

“This ambitious, ribald, and extremely honest first novel attempts to unravel the familial and social pressures that drive two sisters in to a life of serious food abuse…Frannie, though she does not succumb completely to anorexia, is near the breaking point, and HUNGER POINT takes us along on her painful and often funny emotional odyssey of rebirth, detailed with her family’s embattled love and her own self-loathing. Food is not the only matter of the body that is treated brilliantly; the author’s soul-baring depiction of both the miseries and pleasures of sex from a woman’s point of view is unforgettable and occasionally terrifying.” —; Editor’s Favorite

“If it’s possible to carry off a novel on the strength of the heroine’s voice alone, then that’s precisely what first novelist Medoff has done…Including both painful scenes and hilarious conversations, this novel is refreshingly candid.” —Booklist

“Food is drug, penance, and whip in Medoff’s HUNGER POINT, a novel of starving and gorging.” —Village Voice

“As the book’s narrator, Frannie delightfully, insightfully, hilariously shares with us her search for who she is to become. Jillian Medoff’s first novel is a wonderfully written chronicle of a lost woman’s relationship with her mother, father, sister and food. In Medoff’s well-formed characters, each of us can see a friend, a family member, perhaps ourselves…(Frannie) has matured into a job-holding, beau-having, self confident woman who relishes the day. Relish this book.” —Austin American-Statesman

“Witty…(and) harrowing.” —New York Post

“At once heartbreaking and funny, a debut novel on death and renewal that is strong and honest… Medoff displays an unwavering honesty in capturing the silent fears, thoughts, and secret confidences of women, and a real talent for making those truths not morosely tragic but simply human and funny. Despite the subject matter, an exuberant meditation on life, family, and the hard-won satisfactions of personal change.” —Kirkus Reviews

“In Medoff’s memorable first novel, narrator Frannie, a directionless 26-year-old who has just moved back into her parents’ Long Island home, must cope with her younger, more ambitious sister Shelly’s hospitalization for anorexia, as well as with her own body image.” —Publisher’s Weekly

“Frannie is a wry, witty heroine who manages to be both sarcastic and poignant…Medoff skillfully captures Frannie’s impotence in the face of food and her parents’ well-meaning but destructive love (and has) accomplished a rare feat: capturing the delicate emotional nuances of bulimia and anorexia.” —The Boston Herald

“Medoff tells this tale with irreverence and a wicked sense of humor…Ultimately, the book is about hope, the ability of the human spirit to triumph…(Frannie) shines a spotlight on the messages society sends young women in confused times, and takes you with her on her journey to learn who she is and to build a life for herself.” —Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“A novel that is so powerful, painful and shocking that the memory of her message will last much longer than it would in a non-fiction format. (She) has embossed the symptoms and patterns of eating disorders onto characters. Her heroine, Frannie, is more than a fictional device. She’s a remarkable feat of writing skills…Medoff sustains, with integrity, this exasperating girl throughout the book until the reader accepts her and sympathizes with her…The book isn’t preachy, it’s an entertaining story. There’s humor without comedy; there is sadness without pathos. So the messages come across without effort.” —Oklahoman

“Jillian Medoff’s bittersweet first novel illustrates what happens when a relationship with food goes from wary to manic, when a woman’s obsession turns destructive…Sometimes after heartbreak, survivors emerge from a great loss with a restored dignity and a greater capacity to love. We cheer when Frannie surfaces with a new boyfriend, a better job and a stronger self-image; we knew she was a winner all along.” —Chicago Tribune

“Jillian Medoff is one of us. In her first novel, we meet Frannie, a slacker gal with a bad restaurant job, trouble with ‘rat boys,’ and a mother she refers to as ‘her monster’…a good read with a main character you’ll be sure to identify with, and it will also remind you that, most often, being self-centered is no way to be centered at all.” —BUST

“[A]ppealing detains in the first part multiply in the second half, creating a world not unlike Anne Tyler’s…The Hunters’ lives become kookier, and Medoff begins to explore how the members of this dysfunctional family deal with the death of a sister and daughter.” —Time Out New York

“Frannie Hunter, the humorous, hopeful narrator of HUNGER POINT, finds herself unable to handle food, men, or her confused feelings about her family, her career and herself. A surprisingly upbeat take on a familiar theme, Medoff’s successful debut chronicles both the struggles and the ultimate triumph of a heroine who must graduate from cracking wise to actually attaining wisdom.” —Glamour

“Jillian Medoff’s HUNGER POINT tells [the anorexic’s story] through the horrific, bewildered eyes of the anorexic’s sister…[this book] is among the few current novels that talk about the soul.” —Allure

“I devoured HUNGER POINT. I read it compulsively, savoring the bittersweet story of a young woman navigating a most perilous stretch. The story of Frannie’s survival is an edgy, contemporary bildungsroman. HUNGER POINT should be shrink-wrapped with the latest diet gospels as a necessary corrective.” —Gregory Maguire, author of WICKED

“Jillian Medoff has achieved that delicate balance of funny and sad and creates real characters we can cry for and laugh with. In her bittersweet novel, she makes us look at our own hunger — what we crave, what we are starved for.” —Mary Morris, author of REVENGE