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A 10 year old gifted boy wants to be a jazz pianist much to the chagrin of his more classical oriented piano instructor. With his mother's help, he is an underage regular at a local nightspot, where he is teamed up with a sax superstar. Both come to learn that each suffers from Tourette's Syndrome (thus the film title). The older man has developed mannerisms to cover up his own fallibilities and resents the boy and his mother's acceptance of the disease. Written by
John Sacksteder <email@example.com>
At the end of the credits, the following dialogue is heard: Miles: Mom, which would you rather? Flat fingers like Thelonious or flat fingers like Horowitz? Laura: Flat fingers like Miles. Tyrone: Flat, flat, flat. Miles: Mom, which you rather? Pennies facing heads, or pennies facing tails? Laura: Is this a trick question? See more »
I was late to this movie and only caught the last half, so I stayed at the theater and watched it again.
On the surface, it is a well-acted, poignant story of a single mom, her son with TS, and her romance with a man with TS. Both guys are brilliant jazz musicians. Much of the film is about the pains of coping with TS (with occasional bright spots), and the tics and emotions are very realistic. However, anybody could easily substitute TS with an affliction that constantly causes ridicule, isolation, anger, and bitterness, and embarrassment; an affliction that prevents a person from living a so-called "normal" life.
As a 24-year-old Touretter, the movie just struck me right to the heart, because I was watching myself on film. (The part when the kid faces his father hit me the most.) I could see myself in all three characters: a mother who is frustrated and helpless at helping her son cope with TS (my fears of having kids w/TS), a talented young boy and his self-hatred and despair from having this uncontrollable condition, and the older man and his refusal to confront decades of being thought of as a "weirdo."
I admit that I was crying for most of both showings. TS is by no means the worst medical problem in the world, but its internal conflicts can be very destructive, and they are usually invisible to the outside world, which is quite an ironic juxtaposition to its obvious visible traits (the tics, and the excess and often humorous/gifted energy). This movie does a good job of showing what Touretter's face every single day.
On the 45-mile drive home afterwards, I was just numb. Maybe I was all cried out. Or maybe it was a brief catharsis. Or, maybe, I just wanted some... peace, before the next storm of tics.
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