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David Poland

By David Poland

This just in…

From Tuesday’s USA Today aka “The NYT Assignment Desk”…
Adds director Mark Waters (Mean Girls), “It’s clearly not inspired by the Schiavo case.” He doubts those on either side of the right-to-die issue could co-opt what is essentially a fantasy. “It’s not like there is a political or religious agenda to the movie. Everyone wants her to wake up.”
But just as Million Dollar Baby caused a ruckus over its depiction of assisted suicide, Heaven could raise concern over its Hollywood-ized picture of a young and healthy-looking coma patient. Especially since a life force in the form of Witherspoon’s somewhat vaporous presence clearly hovers outside her prone body.

6 Responses to “This just in…”

  1. erikjay says:

    There were a number of ruckuses (rucki?) both big and small over the depiction of assisted suicide in “Million Dollar Baby” — the most overlooked of which had to do with its wholly false premise. There is no such controversy in medicine today as was depicted at the end of the film; anyone in the position of Hilary Swank’s character could simply ask that life-sustaining interventions be halted. Period. It’s that simple.
    The entire dramatic episode was built on either a deliberate lie or profound ineptitude. There is no parallel to the Terry Schiavo case, inasmuch as the Lady Boxer was conscious, alert, and competent to make decisions as to her treatment — any part of which treatment she could have refused.
    I am no longer surprised by the misleading portrayals of medical treatment, doctors, drug effects, etc., in today’s films. As just one other example, “Requiem for a Dream” makes a big show of getting close-ups of the young peoples’ eyes as they shoot heroin. The problem is, we see their pupils dilate just about all the way out to the iris when, in fact, opiates cause the exact opposite effect; the pupils of heroin users are dramatically constricted into little pinpoints (the slang is “pinned” as a matter of fact). “Requiem” should have had them shooting cocaine or amphetamines for the close-ups to have been believable.
    And, frankly, it does matter. Truth matters. Facts count. Accuracy is important. When we consider the fact that the media — not so much the press, but TV and music and movies — are, de facto, the permanent substitute teachers of today’s youth, it is unarguably important that, at a minimum, “content producers” get it right at least as often as not. Naturally, we all would like a much higher ratio of facts to fancy, but for now, with a media menu full of drivel and fable and hoax and nonsense, any progress is welcome.

  2. joefitz84 says:

    Million Dollar Baby still pisses me off. Was on its way to being better than Rocky before it had to try and win awards. Damn shame.

  3. jeffmcm says:

    People can write off Just Like Heaven as a fantasy, but, like erikjay says, fantasies matter. This movie represents exactly what the Schindler family was hoping/praying for Terry Schiavo, only in this movie, the fantasy comes true.
    MDB is a better film.

  4. bicycle bob says:

    so million dollar was better because she stayed dead and there was no happy ending? cynical way to go thru life.

  5. jeffmcm says:

    Million Dollar was simply a better-made, more emotional film.

  6. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    Oh, god. Not this again!
    I swear this place goes in cycles.

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