Adam Lerner & Katherine McKay
Why I love it:
This was a movie that I waited to watch on DVD for fear of having a total meltdown in a public movie theater. We can pretend that the line between life and death is more of a theoretic thing until we are forced to walk so close to it that the comfortable distant fuzz surrounding it comes into razor sharp focus. Experiencing the tremendously difficult loss of an on-again, off-again boyfriend myself just 9 months before it’s release may be the reason this film sticks out in my mind.
Adam Lerner is a 27 year old man who did everything right. He ate healthy, jogged, and worked endlessly to make his ungrateful girlfriend happy, but in the end it didn’t spare him from developing a cancerous tumor in his spine that would leave his chances at life at 50/50. Adam’s positive attitude became more difficult to obtain after he catches his girlfriend cheating on him. Reluctantly, Adam begins attending therapy sessions, lead by the inexperienced 24-year-old Katherine McKay. Adam’s apprehensions surrounding the novice therapist only begin to crack when his health begins to deteriorate and he is forced to undergo a very risky procedure. Though he has a good support system, Adam’s glimpse into the dark emptiness of death pushes him to break down in front of Katherine, the only person he feels that can help him shoulder this burden. She manages to awaken a spark of hope that he holds on to through a full recovery.
Though, I can’t possibly imagine ever finding a reason to say no to the adorable Joseph Gordon-Levitt, I have to believe that the high emotions of the situation were running this romantic train. The girl is starting the relationship with a huge career no-no by engaging too personally with a patient. And, yes, technically they didn’t get together until he was no longer under her care, but I think she still knew deep down planting those seeds of love early on was improper. I think this will make her struggle with the bigger picture of her ethics down the road and a small feeling of guilt will begin to grow. All I have to say is that it’s ok, Katherine. I’m pretty sure most of the things I did when I was 24 consisted of no forethought as well.