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STUDIO: New Line
RUNNING TIME: 109 minutes
Jodi Picoult writes a depressing book. Nick Cassavettes makes a depressing movie.
Abigail Breslin, Cameron Diaz, Alec Baldwin and Jason Patric
Kate Fitzgerald has leukemia. Her parents sired her young sister Anna, so that Kate could always have a walking donor. When Anna is younger, she’s always willing to go along with what her parents ask. When she gets to be a preteen, it starts to piss her off. That’s when Anna finds an attorney to help her keep one of her kidneys. Jason Patric and Cameron Diaz star as the parents who can’t act as well as everyone else in the film.
Sara and Brian Fitzgerald really care for their children. But, they had a child for donor parts. That kind of shit was the basis for B-movies. How Jodi Picoult managed to string together a best-selling book from the whole mess is staggering. What’s even nuttier is that accomplished director Nick Cassavettes tried to film it. Forgot werewolves falling in love with babies, we’ve gone through the looking glass.
My Sister’s Keeper works as a High School level debate on bio-ethics. Using people for ulterior motives is bad, but is it? Should families become involved in legal battles over what was a decision that solely belong to the parents. At what point does a child determine their future? That’s where it ends. Much like a bunch of teenagers in an over-crowded classroom, you only get questions. When you ask for answers, the fish-eyed bastards just stare into space.
The film hits another troubling patch when Joan Cusack and Alec Baldwin are introduced. You have to deal with the mysterious characters with trouble in their past. Throw in a couple of musical stings and moustache curls to complete the soap opera feel. Alec Baldwin should be ashamed when he cashes his check for this film. Baldwin’s character is a seizure riddled lawyer that gets his handicapped ass pulled around by a service dog. Picoult must’ve planned it as some big secret, but it’s obvious from the moment that the character is introduced in the movie and the book.
Convenient maladies, secret plots and melodramatic devices aren’t the way to forge successful stories. But, you can get any idiot to thrown down six bucks to ingest it. There’s nothing that’s going to surprise you in this dimestore weeper. If there was anything outside of sad, weepy, angry, righteous anger, reconciliation and death…you would be impressed. But, Picoult doesn’t want to impress you. She just wants a small chunk of your time in exchange for some easy cash.
When the light shines back on central cancer patient Kate Fitzgerald, you realize something about the film. With all the time spent on the larger drama, no one bothered to give a fuck about the central character. It’s about an hour into the film before the teenage Kate gets to say a damn word for herself. She meets a guy, heads to the Hospital Prom and falls in love. Cancer does what it does, thus we move headlong into the final act. A girl on the verge of the death who only just discovered her true self.
In the end, the film’s one giant whore. A superficial bore that takes your time and doesn’t really offer much in exchange. If you’re of the XX persuasion, you might need a box of Kleenex at your side. But, if the film really impacts you…get some real life perspective. Go meet kids with cancer or anyone that has to deal with a terminal disease. It’s an easier way to extract all the bullshit of the film and find out what matters. But, the audience wants a soap opera. That’s what you got here. A cancer ridden soap opera.
DVD only sports a digital copy and a few select deleted scenes. The A/V Quality is pretty sharp, with amazing Dolby 5.1 audio clarity. It’s just that I noticed a smidge of haze during darkly lit scenes. It’s nothing major, as most people will spend their time racing to the end of the movie. There’s a pan and scan transfer included on the disc for the elderly set. I would bitch about wasting disc space, but I’d have to actually care.