When Lori Reimuller learns that her young son Robbie has epilepsy, she first trusts the judgment of the hospital staff in how best to bring it under control. As Robbie's health slides radically downhill, however, she becomes frustrated and desperate, and so does her own research into the existing literature on treatments. When she decides to try an alternative treatment called the Ketogenic Diet, devised long ago by a doctor from Johns Hopkins, she is met with narrow-minded resistance from Robbie's doctor, who is prepared to take legal action to prevent Lori from removing him from the hospital. This movie is an indictment of those in the medical profession who discuss only the treatment options they favor. Several of the minor characters are portrayed by people who have been not just helped, but cured by the Ketogenic diet. Written by
Debra K. Day <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Jim Abrahams helped set up the Charlie Foundation in Santa Monica, California, an institution dedicated to spreading the word about the ketogenic diet to major paediatric neurological centres. It was through this network that he first came into contact with the Reimullers, the family depicted in the film. See more »
Meryl Streep took a break from feature films for a rare TV movie role, while Jim (Airplane!) Abrahams took a break from wacky comedies, to tell this extraordinary story of a family that must take its health care into its own hands when the medical complex is failing them - after losing almost everything. Their son seems to have a variety of epilepsy that's tragically difficult to diagnose and treat.
Many have lost family members because they didn't have the strength and courage to challenge their doctors' biases before it was too late. So this true story is an important vaccine for people who need to take back responsibility for their families' health. It's a stark contrast and partial antidote to thousands of made-up movie and TV medical stories.
Streep, Fred Ward and the rest of the cast are superb. Allison Janney is perfectly cast as the doctor, because in real life the 'bad guys' are often smart, attractive, and certain they're doing the right thing.
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