Reviewed by: Eric Hernandez
Where did cancer come from? Answer
How did bad things come about? Answer
Why does God allow innocent people to suffer? Answer
What about the issue of suffering? Doesn’t this prove that there is no God and that we are on our own? Answer
Does God feel our pain? Answer
What kind of world would you create? Answer
Death in the Bible
Should I save sex for marriage? Answer
How can I deal with temptations? Answer
How far is too far? What are the guidelines for dating relationships? Answer
Cloning: Right or wrong? Answer
FEAR, Anxiety and Worry… What does the Bible say? Answer
|Featuring:||Cameron Diaz, Abigail Breslin, Alec Baldwin, Joan Cusack, Walter Raney, Sofia Vassilieva, Heather Wahlquist, Jason Patric, Evan Ellingson, Nicole Lenz, Brennan Bailey, Olivia Hancock, Jeffrey Markle, Emily Deschanel, John DeRosa, Marcos De La Cruz, Noni Tulk-Perna, Matt Barry, Annie Wood, Mark M. Johnson, Chris Kinkade, David Thornton, E.G. Daily, Rico Simonini, Frank Cassavetes, David Bortolucci, Olivia Jade Fine, Andrew Schaff, Paul Christopher Butler, Andrew Shack, Angel Garcia, Frank Peluso, Daniel Guzman, Paul Anthony Olguin, Big Al, Mimi Fletcher, Lin Shaye, Eric Cueto, Lexi Ryan, Nina Barry, Thomas Dekker, Ellia English, Mary Jo Deschanel, Jonah Johnson, Rob Giles, Kaiulani Kimbrell, Dylan Showalter, Jarred Tibbetts, Precious Hanley, Michael Chow, Jon Moonves, Roy Allen III|
|Producer:||Curmudgeon Films, Gran Via Productions, Mark Johnson Productions, Stephen Furst, Scott Goldman, Mark Johnson, Chuck Pacheco, Diana Pokorny, Steven Posen, Hillary Sherman, Mendel Tropper, Mendel Tropper|
|Distributor:||New Line Cinema, Warner Bros. Pictures|
“Most babies are accidents. Not me. I was engineered. Born to save my sister’s life.”
So begins “My Sister’s Keeper”, based on the 2004 best-selling novel by Jodi Picoult, and directed by Nick Cassavetes (director of the 2004 movie “The Notebook”). Those opening words are spoken by Anna Fitzgerald (Abigail Breslin), an 11-year-old girl who was conceived in vitro as a genetic match for her leukemia-stricken older sister Kate (Sofia Vassilieva). Whenever a part of Kate’s body fails, Anna’s parents Sara (Cameron Diaz) and Brian (Jason Patric) immediately offer up the needed part of Anna’s body for donation. Because of this, Anna is unable to lead a normal life, as she must always “be there” for her sister. When Kate turns 13, one of her kidneys fails. This time, however, Anna is unwilling to donate the needed kidney and with the help of attorney Campbell Alexander (Alec Baldwin), sues her parents for “medical emancipation,” or the rights to her own body. Kate will not survive if she does not receive the kidney.
There may be potential in that plot for an uplifting movie, but this most definitely is not one. This film is obviously intended as a “tearjerker,” but goes far and beyond merely sad, and by the end becomes thoroughly depressing. Sara, the mother, works hard at fighting her daughter’s disease, and Anna’s decision tears their fragile family apart. The rest of the family seems to be willing to accept Anna’s choice, even Kate, who says that she is tired of fighting the disease, and tired of the strain it has placed on their family. This is depressing stuff, and plays no better than it reads. Sara is crushed by this decision, slapping Anna when she first hears about it, and then becoming more and more grieved as her family comes to accept the decision.
In what may be the film’s most unnecessary plot point, Kate falls in love with another cancer-stricken boy named Taylor, and the two end up apparently having sex in a brief-but-unneeded scene (though the fact that they had sex is later disputed). In that scene, Kate is seen lying on top of Taylor in his hospital bed and both appear to be naked; Kate’s bare back is visible down to her waist, while Taylor is bare-chested. Elsewhere, Kate’s brother Jesse is seen eying scantily clad prostitutes while he waits at a bus stop.
There is no violence to speak of, but it is upsetting and at times disturbing to watch the cancer eat away at Kate’s body. We see the effects of the disease progress throughout the movie: Kate continually has nosebleeds, and is seen vomiting blood. Towards the end, Kate becomes increasingly emaciated and is covered in bruises. Elsewhere, a man is seen having an epileptic seizure. As a young child, Anna is forced to give bone marrow, and is seen kicking and screaming as doctors prepare a large needle.
There is also a considerable amount language for a PG-13 movie, including 3 uses of G*D, one F-word, and a few S-words. “God” and “Jesus” are also uttered many times as exclamations.
All the pain and suffering the characters in the movie endure could be lifted were they to find out the truth about Jesus and his message of salvation. Revelation 21:4 says, “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away”. Alas, no such hope is to be found in “My Sister’s Keeper”. Kate says that she thinks “everything will be okay,” but the audience never has her assurance.
Perhaps the movie exists solely to inspire thought and debate about the issue of Anna being conceived in order to keep her sister alive, but there is no other deep, profound meaning to be found in “My Sister’s Keeper,” only a depressing story of a family being torn apart. I don’t recommend this movie.
Violence: Mild / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Moderate
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.