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Freak City tells the moving story of a young woman, played by Samantha Mathis, who is diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and is institutionalized by her family. Alone and feeling abandoned she struggles to regain her sense of dignity and independence by bonding with a wide assortment of fellow patients. Other residents at the home include Jonathan Silverman as a blind man, Marlee Maitlin, a slightly retarded woman, and singer-actress Natalie Cole as a blues singer injured in an accident and left with severe mental and emotional challenges. Working together they share many funny and sometimes bittersweet moments and celebrate overcoming their challenges as a family brought together by circumstance.Written by
Other reviewers focused on the improbable circumstances of the story. Being familiar with institutions, asylums, and homes since the mid-60s I can vouch for there still being plenty of places like those depicted to warehouse the unwanted. Having paperwork makes it easier even if it's the wrong paperwork. This holds true for adults; there are plenty of ways to entangle them in the system.
What I really wanted to those who care that the movie is full of strong language. Many of the characters toss off obscenities easily. I am used to a TV-14 being roughly equivalent to PG-13. The PG-13 however only permits limited strong language and this film runs way beyond counting. I do not know that the rest of the content would have warranted an R rating in theaters. The language would have to be toned down to get the PG-13, however, as the f-bomb detonates more than I would want my children to hear. More than I want to hear too now that I am thinking about it.
Otherwise cast members each have beautiful scenes that highlight their strengths as actors. Watching that is a real pleasure since there is so much talent pooled in this cast. Also nice that the movie is old enough that many are caught before their careers took off.
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