My Sisters Keeper
- Director:Nick Cassavetes
- Cast:Alec Baldwin, Abigail Breslin, Joan Cusack, Cameron Diaz
- Release Date:July 30, 2009
- Running time:109 minutes
- Film Worth:$6.00
- FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth
Overly sentimental and with a soundtrack that wrings the tears, the film loses much of the moral debate that the book it’s based on attempts to raise.
Anna Fitzgerald (Abigail Breslin) has decided to let her sister die. Anna was conceived in-vitro for the specific purpose of being a living donor - of bodily tissue and fluids - for her older sister, Kate (Sofia Vassilieva), who has leukemia. But now Anna wants to regain the rights to her body. In particular, she wants to refuse to donate a kidney that Kate desperately requires, and will shortly be unable to live without. Being only eleven-years-old, Anna sues her parents for medical emancipation in order to achieve this.
It's a fascinating moral dilemma, successfully explored in the book My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult, on which the film is based. Director Nick Cassavetes is no stranger to weepy dramas, having also directed The Notebook. He seems to believe that audiences have lost the ability to emote on their own though, and refuses to let the material speak for itself, putting a famous-for-making-women-cry song behind almost every scene, and lingering on every sentimental moment. It's effective, sure, but it's about as subtle as being whacked over the head with a plank of wood, and about as painful.
Abigail Breslin and Sofia Vassilieva deliver superb performances as the two sisters, but in the other corner is Cameron Diaz as the mother, Sara, in a piece of stunt casting that hasn't paid off. It's a role made for someone like Toni Collette or Laura Linney; Diaz simply doesn't have the acting chops to carry it off. Her attempt at on-cue crying is positively risible. What should have been a touching and engaging drama is drowned under layers of schmaltz, and reduced to standard midday movie fare, to the point where they might as well have cast Tori Spelling in the role of Sara and been done with it. Read the book instead.