Monday, June 28, 2010
John Q. -- 2002
Rated 14A for violence and language
My Rating: 5 Stars
Daniel E. Smith
“I think John Q. was using one of those faith based health care plans. That's where you just pray and the government does nothing.”
The Archibald family are a typical black family down south: daddy (John), mama (Denise) and boy Mike). They don't have a lot of money but they have each other and love and they're getting by.
Then, one day while playing a rousing game of baseball, Mikey collapses and has to be rushed to the Emergency Room. He is diagnosed with a rare disease that has enlarged his heart to three times it's normal size. Unless he gets a new one within days, he'll die.
Two choices... another heart or death. Of course, his parents opt for the heart transplant. But there is a problem: without their knowledge, their insurance has been cut down from total coverage to only $20,000. A heart transplant costs upwards of $250,000.
The Archibalds sell anything of their possessions that aren't nailed down (and maybe a couple things that were), do horrific amounts of paperwork trying to get any kind of coverage, offerings at church are taken up, people give them money on the street...
But it isn't enough. It's never enough.
The doctors are discharging Mike. There is nothing they are willing to do without funds, so the boy will be sent home to die.
John Q. Archibald is the gentlest man God ever created. He wouldn't hurt a flea. But you don't crowd a loving Daddy and his family back into a corner with no place to go. He's liable to do the unthinkable. In this case, the unthinkable was taking the doctor responsible, the ER and everyone in it hostage until the case is won and his son has a new heart.
What I Liked:
1: How family oriented this film was. It's all about family and the roles each member takes. “I'm with my husband. Whatever he does it fine with me.”
2: John Q. didn't do the right thing by taking people hostage but even when he was doing wrong, you felt in his spirit that he only wanted to do what was right and best for his family. He was truly a generous and unselfish man. Just when you think the man had nothing left to give, he'd give a whole lot more.
3: For most of the language, they substituted words. Lol.
4: How the 'bad' woman has a change of heart.
5: When the girlfriend beats up her boyfriend. I'm still chuckling.
6: The doctor. He was a phenomenal actor.
7: Actually, all the actors were very good.
8: The twists in the story... very surprising.
9: John Q.'s actions had both good and bad consequences.
10: The obvious affection John and Denise had for each other.
11: There was a mixture of characters. Some were truly concerned only about themselves, others had merely become caught up in their life and had forgotten there is always room for compassion and trust.
12: No bedroom scenes or sexual innuendo.
13: The excellent directing/filming. Bravo!!
14: The humor. It was very effective.
What I Didn't Like:
1: The occasional bad language.
2: The conclusion was that the US should provide free health care for everyone. I don't think that's the answer.
This film was like a breath of fresh air. I highly recommend it.