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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A love story, deep and consuming. The characters stay with you, like
(I'm not sure what a 'spoiler' might be with a title like 'Dying Young' - so, if you don't wish to know what the movie is about . . . skip this comment!)
I've survived five different cancers since 1959. I've watched many others die from cancer, mostly because I've been treated in Veterans Hospitals since 1961 which had 'open cancer wards' of forty to sixty beds and we see all there is to see in each other's lives. I've seen this movie in real life, mine and many others' lives and families.
You will be utterly absorbed by the consummate, intricate writing of Richard Freidenberg's adaptation of the Marti Leimbach novel and the 'invisible' direction - my finest compliment - done by Joel Schumacher.
Throughout the film you'll be absorbed by the character's lives. How utterly real their pain, how complete their anguish, how deep their fear,how intense their love: both of the cancer victim Victor Geddes (Campbell Scott) and the loved ones - especially the caretaker becoming lover, Hiliary O'Neil (Julia Roberts).
If the Victor Geddes character had AIDS or Parkinson or Alzheimer's Disease? The audience and reviews would be thunderous applause; nines and tens. But: about cancer? The audience is frightened to give acclaim to cancer, the shadow disease.
The predictable audience reaction to a cancer victim story is amazing: Viewers fear contagion! In real life - friends, relatives, loved ones are frightened to death to visit a person with cancer; to 'touch' them?, to breath their air?, to be nearby?. That fear is brought to the theater, to the television and to the VCR. Fear is the Bitch Goddess of Cancer and was ever present in 'Dying Yong'!
I've never seen Julia Roberts (with whom I've been stuck since 'Pretty Woman") 'disappear into a role' as she did portraying the woman in love with a man dying with cancer. (I didn't see it in 'Erin Brockavich', at least not by comparison). Campbell Scott, playing the cancer sick Vic Geddes, is likewise consumed by the character and is invisible as an actor. There is not an actor before the camera throughout the film . . . just people about whom you Give-A-Damn; about people, not actors.
This is an amazing film.
Some might think I am biased because of my having had cancer: Perhaps. But, to see the gut wrenching under current, words which are never said, emotions programmatically withheld, denial and lies issued and ignored even though instantly recognized until there is a no longer any ability to do so was (is) the most profound treatment of catastrophic illness I've ever seen on film. I kept wanting to yell at each character to speak up, shout, get it out, say something!
(I wonder if those who have not had cancer had that same reaction.)
I hope that those who see this film will see the magnificence of its incredible love story (in spite of illness!) and feel its adroit kick in the shin rendered against the 'silence and lies' between those about whom you care when ill. This story is about love, about life, not about death.
If ever an actor deserved to be awarded an Oscar it was Julia Roberts' portrayal of a woman in love with a man dying with cancer in 'Dying Young.'
See this film: It is an incredible love story! You'll feel happy for all the characters, and, yourself.
I bought this video in a sale for only £2.50 and although I knew it had
Julia Robert in it, I thought that maybe this was going to be another
"Firehouse" which.. Well did nothing for me. I turned the video on, lied on
he sofa and cried! Very few movies ever make me cry, this being one that
never failed to every time I have seen it.
Hilary O'Neil is hired as a nurse when Victor Geddes' father goes away on business. Eventually, Hilary becomes more than his nurse, she becomes, in my opinion; His reason for living. This movie is a powerful and moving story of one man's need for love and a woman's need simply for a job.
Definitely one to watch!
Every time this movie comes on television, I sit in my bedroom and watch it from start to finish as if it was the first time I've seen it. It is a film that focuses on a man, Victor (Campbell) dying of leukemia and his internal struggles of wanting to be carefree and wanting total companionship from the Hillary (Roberts), the woman he hires to take care of him. Eventually, Victor wishes that he could be well so that Hillary can look at him in a different light; however, Victor cannot see pass his disease to allow anyone to be in his life including his dad and Hillary. He abruptly stops his chemotherapy to go live life and die; however, he does not seem to be living it since he so competitive and wanting to be better than anyone else. You want Victor to be cured of the disease and you want him to be less envious of the well people and to stop worrying about death and just live, which is the whole message of the film. Don't be afraid of death since we all will eventually die and no one knows exact time when death will wrapped them in his arm, which is a very powerful message. Great acting from Campbell and Julia. Great cast. Please watch this film and formulate your own opions.
My first complaint was that Vincent D'Onofrio was totally wasted in
this role, although he brought some much needed life to this role. If
they had fully developed Vincent'Onofrio's character then this could
have been a beautiful and powerful triangle, but they wasted most of
the supporting characters.
Campbell Scott was great as the young man dying of leukemia and gave a riveting performance as a young man who had never been able to fully live his life and groping for what he considers his last chance of happiness before dying.
Campbell Scott also has the courage to be unlikeable and at times arrogant rather than a plaster saint. His inability to connect and understand the simple friendship offered by Gordon(Vincent D'Onofrio) is almost painful to watch. He envies Gordon's easy openness and zest, and is also jealous of the way that Gordon effortlessly connects to JUlia Roberts character,Hilary.
The most poignant scene is when this young man of wealth, privilege, and education tries to relate with Gordon and Hilary who are getting a kick out of answering the questions to Jeopardy. He scores big on the questions that he studied in college, but grows more and more frustrated as Hilary and Gordon bond over their ordinary knowledge of TV shows-- like their singing the theme to Gilligan's Island. They are having fun, but Vincent can only see it as a competition.
In that moment he sees a world that he has never known and probably will never really get, and he lashes out at both of them. Gordon is hurt and puzzled and Hilary is torn between anger and understanding.
I wish that they had had Julia telling Gordon about how the character of Vincent was struggling with cancer, and having all three of them interact with each other bringing more depth to their struggles-- Vincent's jealousy of watching Hilary and Gordon interacting, and Gordon reaching out in friendship to help his new friend. It also would have given Hilary more insight into her emotions, and, when she made a choice it would have had more meaning.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This may not be classic cinema, but I found it a moving portrayal of
both the suffering caused by cancer to its victims, and the grief to
the loved ones who support them. Of course it's also a romantic tale of
the relationship that develops between this particular patient and his
The movie chronicles the story of a young woman, Hilary, who, following a recent betrayal by her boyfriend, takes a job as a private caregiver to a rather difficult young man, Victor, suffering from terminal blood cancer. It dramatically depicts Victor's struggles with chemotherapy (the scenes most memorable to me), and Hilary's assistance, with its ever increasing emotional involvement.
Julia Roberts brings her typical endearing qualities to the role of his nurse, who risks a broken heart by falling for a young man who is most certainly going to die soon. I've never seen Roberts in a role for which she didn't elicit viewer sympathy. Campbell Scott, son of actor George C. Scott, is also convincing as the young leukemia sufferer. My major complaint is Victor's lack of supportive family relationships (as I recall) or apparent faith. The movie could have been more meaningful if he'd had these, yet in addition, loved and needed Hilary. This scenario is dramatic, but it is unfortunate and simplistic that she is portrayed as his sole reason for living.
Get out the Kleenex, folks, for the entire movie. I liked the ambiguous ending that left the viewer able to cling to the remote prospect that Victor might miraculously survive. Its message of course is the devoted loyalty until death that Hilary offers. Some viewers have mentioned an alternate suicide ending; that would have definitely ruined the film for me.
As someone who has seen this movie numerous times, I can honestly say that this movie isn't for those people that are looking for a "Happily ever after". This movie is as realistic as a movie about such a subject(Cancer) can be. But the best thing about this movie is the relationship that the characters have. The actors, Julia Roberts as the hired nurse and Campbell Scott as the very sick young man are excellent and believable in their rolls. If anything this movie brings out the fact that he has a short time to live, how he chooses to live his life is what this movie is about. The story ends in a way which WE the viewer choose the path we want to see it. If you want a happy ending you can say that they left together and he was cured, BUT if you are realistic and are aware of how many lives cancer takes you know that they had their time together and eventually he dies. "You don't know when you are going to die, nobody does. But we have now, so live with me Victor. Live with me--Hillary(Julia Roberts). Those words are the basis of this story, to live the time you have, live for the day. I have recommended this movie to many of my friends and I am doing so here and now. A must see.
Julia Roberts shows once again how she can take an ordinary script and turn it into a worthwhile flick. This is a great movie for one of those rainy afternoons when you don't mind a little tear here and there.No one in Hollywood can cry and hit you right in the gut like Julia. Along with Campbell Scott,who is dying from Leukemia, they both give believable performances and the music score is quite good.
Julia Roberts is excellent as Hilary in this impressive romance film. The remaining cast is spectacular. The costumes are elegant. One of the excellent flicks in the genre, Dying Young will press the viewer to love until death. 10 out of 10.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I absolutely love this movie. I think it is one of the best romance films on the market. This movie can move you in so many ways. It made me laugh, it made me angry, it made me cry. I thought the end was very touching. I cried so hard. I don't know why the review says he dies because no one knows. It has an open ending and you can take from it what you want. I know everyone is allowed to have his or her opinion but to say he dies is assuming. I like to believe that he lives. He was getting better with the chemo. He could get better again. I thought this was just the best movie ever.
After 17 years I still love this movie. Campbell Scott was awesome. He was so intense. I love the part at the party where he is watching her from behind the candles. Then when she starts dancing with Gordon and she looks for him and spots him watching her. You can see the love and the ache, and the passion he has for her. His eyes say it all. I wish he would have been in other bigger films. He is a great actor and he played that part so well. It's weird seeing Julia that long ago. She looks different, but yet she looks the same. She was great in this movie also. I didn't want the movie to end as they walked out the door. I wanted to see more, maybe a "1 year later" thing and they have a baby. It still makes me cry every time!!!
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