Truth is often more compelling than fiction, and filmgoers love a heartfelt human interest story, but true stories don't automatically make great movies. Amelia Earhart is a fascinating historical figure, but it didn't show in her recent biopic. Conversely, the story of the Tuohy family's adoption of budding football star Michael Oher doesn't seem very flashy, but The Blind Side deeply resonated with audiences.
So it doesn't matter whether the subject is interesting or not: Dramatized human interest stories still need to connect through strong writing and acting.
Extraordinary Measures would seem to have everything going for it: A touching story (based on the best-selling book The Cure) inspired by true events about a father's great lengths to save his kids' lives. A timely subject with health care on the minds of millions. Two high-profile actors in Brendan Fraser and Harrison Ford. Sadly, it all adds up to an extraordinary bore.
Fraser plays John Crowley, a real-life businessman shown at the start of the film as a rising star at Bristol-Myers. The opening credits teeter on cliché, showing Crowley as a father seemingly too busy at work to make his daughter's birthday party. He arrives in the nick of time, revealing the harried family—with John's wife Aileen (Keri Russell) and their three children John Jr., Megan, and Patrick—as the picture of love and happiness.
But all is not well. Time is running out for 8-year-old Megan and 6-year-old Patrick, both confined to wheelchairs. They have Pompe disease, a rare genetic disorder caused by an enzyme deficiency that leads to muscle weakness and typically death by 9 years of age. The family seems to be out of options, but a near-death experience for Megan at the ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 65+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more
This slideshow is only available for subscribers.
Please log in or subscribe to view the slideshow.