Here is a news release about the movie:
In CBS' new movie, two warm people are divided by a mutual love.
The wife (Marlee Matlin) is deaf; the husband (Jeff Daniels) is not. Now one issue -- whether to give their deaf son a cochlear implant -- splits them.
"Sweet Nothing in My Ear" has surprises for the audience and for the actors. "I had no idea about the pride in the deaf culture," Daniels said.
That's a key factor. "Some may see deafness as a disability," Matlin wrote in an e-mail interview, "but it is a spirit and a sense of community that has been around for over 200 years."
That pride propels the conflict, Daniels said. "(Her) opinion is, 'We're deaf; we're not disabled.' ... My argument is that we should not limit him, when there is this technology that might allow him to hear."
This is a frequent debate. Proponents say the implants can restore partial sound to some people who were born hearing; critics say this can separate them from their deaf family and schoolmates.
"I've seen my share of scripts, mostly poorly researched, featuring cochlear implant storylines," Matlin said. "This was the first one that looked at the issue intelligently, accurately."
The director is Joseph Sargent, 82. "He loves making movies," Daniels said.
In his 1985 "Love is Never Silent," Phyllis Frelich and Ed Waterstreet, both deaf, played parents of a hearing woman. They're back now, as grandparents encased in the struggle.
That was one of the attractions, Matlin said. It "featured several roles for actors who are deaf or hard of hearing."
Noah Valencia was 9, with no acting experience, when he was cast as the son.
"That kid is a wonderful actor (and) he was so prepared ... He was a pro," Daniels said.
Daniels had his own preparation. When the role came up, he said, his agent implied the actor knew sign language. When he got the part, "I ordered this 20-hour series of (signing) tapes and crammed," Daniels said.