I remember when I was nominated to do the A.L.S (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) ice bucket challenge I was enthusiastic to follow the trend. I took up the challenge of being drenched in ice cold water and I donated funds towards A.L.S research. So when I heard about You’re Not You I was curious. Consider yourself warned, this film will make you cry!
The first scene of the film takes place at Kate’s (Hillary Swank) 35th birthday party. Kate is surrounded by her adoring husband Evan (Josh Duhamel) and friends. Life seems to be idyllic. She starts to play Chopin’s Polonaise on the piano when she notices her fingers start to quiver.
The film jumps to a year and a half later where Kate is in a wheelchair as she has been diagnosed with A.L.S. Evan has been taking care of her because she has lost most of her motor skills. Kate just fired her last caregiver as she made her feel like a patient and is looking to hire someone new. Bec (Emmy Rossum), a rebellious college student that seems to never hold down a job and is entangled in an array of chaotic affairs, pitches up late for the job interview. Kate decides to give her a chance despite Bec’s terrible first impression. Kate and Evan’s marriage hits rock bottom when Kate finds out that Evan is having an affair with his secretary. The two woman find solace in each other as their relationship deepens. Together they fiercely tackle life’s issues as headstrong Kate begins to rub off on impulsive and youthful Bec and vice versa. Bec grows to be the force of encouragement in Kate life until the tear-jerking end.
“I know it’s not my place, because I’m not the one who has this thing, but… please don’t give up” – Bec
Director George C. Wolfe did a phenomenal job of bring to life an adaptation of Michelle Wildgen’s popular novel Terms of Endearment. He was able to breathe life visually between inconsolable Kate and turbulent Bec. He gave us up-close insight into the life of someone suffering from A.L.S.
The only downside to the film was that there were a few holes in the plot and the film ends very suddenly. This is all pardonable because of the film’s emotional manipulation. Hillary Swank gave a brilliant performance that pulls at your heart strings days after watching the film. The ensemble cast gave noteworthy memorable performances. Through his performance, Josh Duhamel highlighted the agony that the spouse of the A.L.S victim goes through. The film had all the right ingredients cinematically and musically to create a beautiful story that takes you through the highs and lows of the characters.
Through a unique bond, Bec gave Kate her dignity back and Kate gave Bec a reason to live again. You’re Not You is a story of sisterhood and transformation. It is worth the watch. Just make sure you have a box of tissues on standby.