Joe and Christina's marriage is in trouble when they take a sailing trip with their married best friends. On the trip, Christina vanishes and is presumed dead. Joe is suspected of her ... See full summary »
This film was made by Bob Saget about his sister's battle with scleroderma. To not only document what she and their family went through, but to put a face to the disease for us to better understand it. And on that it succeeds at every level.
It starts off slowly, introducing Hope's family, including her brother, a sitcom writer in California. Then we meet Hope, a single mother and teacher in her late thirties. Once the disease begins, she struggles to discover just what it is that's causing her pain, and only later learns what she's facing.
Her family's reactions of denial, confusion, anger, guilt, fatigue, and utter frustration are all displayed well and with feeling. Her brother's way of reacting to everything with a joke is annoying at first, and then you realize that this is his way of dealing with the crisis. The way he's always coped with life. It's given him a television career and a great home, and yet it can't help him in the face of his sister's illness. (Still, having said that, throughout the movie are jokes of poor taste, and the film would benefit if the first and last scenes, at the restaurant, were cut.)
But the star of the film is Delany, in a powerful performance. She goes to the core of the rage and grief over what has become of her body. It's a heart-rending journey as she tries to cling to her dignity, her family, and her life.
In short, this movie is not easy to watch, but necessary if you hope to understand what people with scleroderma are battling each day.
P.S. For an interesting side note, both Saget and Delany were involved in benefits for scleroderma even before Saget's sister became ill. And for more on Delany's involvement with the Scleroderma Foundation, see http://www.danadelany.com/extras-causes.htm
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