Molly McKay is a profoundly autistic twenty-something woman who has lived in an institution from a young age following her parents' death in a car accident. When the institution must close due to budget cuts, Molly is left in the charge of her neurotypical, older brother, Buck McKay, an advertising executive and perennial bachelor. Molly, who verbalizes very little and is obsessed with lining up her shoes in neat rows, throws Buck's life into a tailspin as she runs off her nurses and barges naked into a meeting at Buck's agency. When Buck consults Molly's (beautiful) neurologist, Susan Brookes, Dr. Brookes suggests an experimental surgery in which healthy brain cells are harvested from a donor and implanted into Molly's brain. While Buck initially balks at the suggestion, he finally consents to the surgery and Molly makes a miraculous "recovery" from her autism when she begins to speak fluidly and to interact with her brother, caretakers, and the world, in general. Buck begins taking ... Written by
(Credit IMDb) A bachelor becomes the unwilling guardian of his autistic, retarded sister; then an experimental treatment works a dramatic change in her brain and his attitude.
This movie is quite sentimental and sweet, but it's not quite skilled enough to do what it aspires to be. The storyline itself was actually rather endearing. I felt Elisabeth Shue did a decent job playing a mentally challenged autistic girl, and transitioned very effectively to a smarter person. Portraying an autistic person isn't easy. Elisabeth Shue is far from the problem here. She struggles a bit sometimes, but considering it was a huge leap for her dramatically, I feel she deserves props. It gets a bit too ambitious in the second half, not to mention I had a hard time warming up to the main lead (Aaron Eckhart) There was just something about him that felt off to me, despite OK chemistry with Shue. It tries to go for the typical heartbreaking finale which is full of sap and sentiment, but I found it to be way too conventional. I also thought the love story between Elisabeth Shue and Thomas Jane was slightly contrived. It didn't feel real to me, and I thought it was just thrown in there for the sake of it. It tries to be a sad, thought provoking film, but fails. It's certainly keeps your attention, but it's not as powerful as it likes to believe it is.
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