Dr. David Sutton
Writing as Inquiry 10803, 021
November 17th, 2010
Created for Perfection but Destined to Fail
Having a dying child changes a family’s life. A mother will do anything she possibly can to aid this child. Likewise, the rest of the family will have to commit in order for their sibling’s well being. During and after a situation like this, life for the family will not be the same. In the movie, My Sister’s Keeper, directed by Nick Cassavetes, a happily married couple with two children live their life normally and joyfully until the day they learn that their two year old daughter, Kate, had leukemia and would not live past the age of five. In the movie Sofia Vassilieva plays the role of Kate, the dying girl, whose illness would not let her live past the five. Neither Kate’s parents or brother were a match with her and thus could not donate anything to aid her with her terminating disease. The parents decided to produce a one hundred percent in vitro child so he/she could give Kate what she needed: bone marrow, blood donations, and stem cells. Cameron Diaz, Sara Fitzgerald, the mother, together with Jason Patric, Brian Fitzgerald, the husband, agreed to have a baby “made in a dish to be spare parts for Kate.”(Breslin) And as soon as their baby was born, they would summit her into numerous surgeries so she could donate what ever Kate needed to live. To me this was a great attention grabber for the movie because it gave the plot originality. The in vitro child, Abigail Breslin, Anna Fitzgerald, was twelve and she introduced the movie speaking of how she was only made to aid her dying sister. She was the “perfect in vitro
child who would be Kate’s genetic savior.”(Breslin) Ever since she was a newborn she was summited to numerous operations because of the different needs Kate had. Now that she is twelve, Anna files a lawsuit against her parents wanting to be medically emancipated, to have the rights to her own body. She claims she wants to live her life as a regular twelve year old girl without having restrictions in her daily activities. Later in the movie however, the audience comes to find that Kate had actually pleaded Anna into filing the lawsuit. Kate does this because she had no desire of living anymore, she wants the suffering to end, and the fighting in her family to end. Kate wanted Anna to be free from the surgeries, she wanted to be at peace and she wanted to free her family from further suffering.
Cassavetes directed and created an excellent “tear breaking” movie yet he failed to properly construct and revise Sara Fitzgerald’s role. Sara was portrayed as a loving mother, but to a point, her character was a selfish. Her main concern since the movie began was her daughter Kate’s well being and was “not going to let her die.” (Diaz) Sara became a mother primarily interested in making Kate live and thereby forgot her role as a mother not only to Kate but to Anna and her oldest son Jesse. Sara had the entire family dedicated to watching over Kate and her needs. This made Jesse feel ignored and would constantly flee home and Anna grew feeling unloved.
When Sara received the papers of the lawsuit, she became infuriated and slapped Anna across the face. This action of hitting her child demonstrated how Sara simply disregards Anna’s opinion because listening to Anna’s desires meant letting Kate die and she was not going to allow that. Sara would rather have Anna feeling miserable with her life than to watch Kate die. She
gave up her entire life to watch over Kate’s health and she was not going to let anyone or anything ruin her twelve year battle.
On the other hand, Brian’s role in the movie served mainly to defend his children. Although he struggled the same battle of keeping Kate alive with Sara, his character understood and stood beside what his children needed. He let Sara take over for twelve years but when the lawsuit came he understood Anna’s point and...
Cited: Ebert, Roger. (2009) “My Sister’s Keeper.” rogerbert.com, June 24, 2009.
My Sister’s Keeper. Dir. Nick Cassavetes. Perf. Cameron Diaz, Abigail Breslin, Alec Baldwin,
Jason Patric, Sofia Vassilieva. New Line Cinema, 2009. DVD
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