January 7, 2013

Happy Mon. -4 at the airport.

We watched My Sister’s Keeper, based on the Jodi Picoult novel. I was dubious at first, not being a Cameron Diaz fan, but as the story progressed it became very absorbing. The plot centers on older sister who has leukemia and younger sister who was conceived in vitro to have compatible body parts with the older girl, enabling docs to use blood and marrow from the younger sib to treat the older girl. Ten years pass and older girl, 16, is in the last stages undergoing chemo. Her kidneys are failing and she needs a transplant. Younger sister goes to a lawyer to sue her parents for “medical emancipation,” i. e., the freedom to choose whether to give organs to her sister.

The plot has a soap opera quality that probably goes far to make the story of the desperately sick teen less off-putting to an audience. There is a brother in between the two girls who is often neglected while mom tends to the older sister. Dad is a professional helper, a fire captain. Mom is a lawyer who quit her job to stay home and care for big sis. The acting is very good, especially the kids, and the film raises a number of interesting questions with its clearly delineated family dynamics. We were surprised how much we liked it. Ebert gave it 3.5 stars out of four. Worth a watch.

The happy faces on the DVD cover give the wrong impression. There is a lot of anger and hurt in this film, and Diaz’s over-the-top performance of the driven mom caretaker will make you cringe at times. There is a courtroom sequence with Alec Baldwin representing younger sister. Joan Cusack plays the judge. Food for thought.

My Sisters Keeper dvd

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