Last night I saw the movie, Love and Other Drugs. Before you start your car to run to the Redbox outside your local 7-11 or quickly download from Netflix, you need to know that this is a real, raw film. And you may want to see it before sharing with your older teens due to the sexual nature of the film, which is a tad too bad as there is an extremely crucial message in this film.
I don’t watch films to learn, per se, I go to be entertained. Anne Hathaway (Maggie) gives a fabulous performance and two things struck me in particular about the film. One is the drive Anne Hathaway’s character has to live with the disease that afflicts her body, and the other was an actress that has a small role that captures you immediately, Lucy Roucis (I will get back to Lucy in a minute)..
Maggie has Parkinson’s Disease. She is doing her ‘damnest’ to live her life to the fullest. Many times I have stated how important it is to ‘LIVE with diabetes’ rather than ‘live with DIABETES’. Despite everything that Maggie attempts, the one crucial point she cannot get past is to allow anyone to get close to her. Jamie (exceptionally played by Jake Gyllenhaal) falls for Maggie and she does all she can to keep him away because the way she lives her life is safe. At the crucial point in the film the conversation went like this:
Maggie Murdock: I’m gonna need you more than you need me.
Jamie Randall: That’s okay.
Maggie Murdock: [crying] No it’s not! It isn’t *fair*! I have places to go!
Jamie Randall: You’ll go there. I just may have to carry you.
Maggie Murdock: …I can’t ask you to do that.
Jamie Randall: You didn’t.
Recently I wrote asking those with T1 Diabetes, who were now adults, to chime in and I have heard from so many how healthy that dialogue was. So many parents sent me emails and private messages how much they learned from those who live with diabetes every day. I thank all of you who commented. And now I may ask it again.
As I watched this film, it was very clear that Maggie was going to do her all in her power to live as she sees fit, But it was also very clear that she could not get past the fact that someone may actually love her completely because she thought of herself as ‘damaged’ or not as perfect as someone may ever want. Moments in the film had me saying to myself, “Do our kids feel that way?” DO they feel that no one would ever want them because they have diabetes? Do they feel that THEY do not want anyone to get close to them because they have diabetes? When they enter into a relationship, what does the family of the new-found love say about their diabetes?
A beautiful actress named Lucy Roucis caught my eye in the film. Maggie goes to a support group meeting and Lucy’s character is running the evening’s event. You notice the sparkle in her eye and hear her fabulous wit; it is only after that moment that you also realize she has tremors and has Parkinson’s also. In my homework for this writing I found out that Lucy has Parkinson’s and what we are seeing is probably a lot like who she is everyday. She shared that she also wrote part of that wonderful scene.
Lucy states in an interview,
I would like journalists to change the phrase, “suffering from Parkinson’s.” I don’t suffer. I endure Parkinson’s. I live with Parkinson’s. But suffering is a state of mind.
And there you go. “…suffering is a state of mind.” How fabulous is Lucy?
In as much as our kids with diabetes do incredibly wonderful things, which I have written about many times, do they—EVEN WHILE DOING these great things, deep down inside, ask themselves, “……will anyone fall in love with me WITH my diabetes?” Do they, as Maggie did, push people away and not allow people to become close to them, because of their diabetes? Did they feel that way and had to get over it? What do they feel?
Do you as parents ever ask yourself these questions?
I look forward to reading what others feel on this subject and again, if you could reply here so everyone can read the responses (as oppose to wherever it is posted on-line) it would be appreciated.
BTW you can click the hyperlink to Lucy’s interview above and see how fabulous and successful a person she is when not onscreen; I do hope her parents are as proud of her as we are of our kids, who also accomplish great things even while ‘enduring’ with diabetes.
I am a Diabetesdad.