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My Sister's Keeper, A gift for the dying

For many in attendance at the My Sister's Keeper's advanced viewing, the book was what they came to see; but for others it was an opportunity to see this story for the first time, or perhaps just in a different way.  

The story opens, like the book, with the voice of thirteen year old Anna explaining the reason and consequences of her birth.  Her sister, Kate, became ill with Leukemia and the parents are left with few options for treatment.  One of the remaining courses of treatment for Kate was for her parents Sara (Cameron Diaz) and Brian Fitzgerald (Jason Patric) to engineer a new baby, genetically designed to be used as a donor for their sick child.  

The imbalance becomes apparent when Anna, played by Abigail Breslin, decides that she should have a say in how her body is to be used, and memories of what she has been through to date are revealed.   Anna believes that she should not be subject to often life-saving, yet painful procedures, no matter how much they may benefit Kate (Sofia Vassilieva).  However as the movie progresses it becomes less about harvesting donations from designer babies, but more of a story or one's right to live or die; and also how we respond to death.  This movie reveals a sort of denial of death at the beginning and slowly teaches that death is a part of life that can be embraced.

The audience seemed pleased, with loud laughter at the funny bits and open sobbing when the heart strings were pulled.  But for the the fans of the book, there was a mix of responses.  Although moved by the movie, for some of the book fans, the story did not take them to where they expected to go; and for that, some were left wanting more.

At a glance: One book fan quipped, "It ended differently.  It's like a different story.  I like the book, better."
Observation:  The audience was older than many previews I've attended, at least 55 and up; and about 85 to 90% female.  The lines for this movie were very long and the theatre was filled to capacity.



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