I went to see a movie today. It's the first movie that I've seen in the theater in about two years. A few years ago I would have had no interest in this movie. It's the first movie that a major character has Parkinsons.
The movie centers around a Drug Salesman (Jake Gyllenhaal) who falls for a young woman (Anne Hathaway) who is going through, what is described as "Stage 1" Parkinsons. I've never heard the disease referred to in stages before, but it makes sense. The sub plot about the Viagra sales, except for the gratuitous sex (which I am in favor of), was relatively entertaining. However, had that been the gist of the movie, I would have already forgotten about it.
The important part, and the reason that I went was Maggie (Hathaway), a 26 woman inflicted with PD. She obviously did some research into the part, because she played the part without being "over the top."
As someone inflicted with this disease I found three poignant scenes:
1) When she describes to a new doctor all of the tests that she had gone through before they settle upon the diagnosis. I was tested for Carpal Tunnel, Brain Tumor even bone chips in my elbow, before the correct diagnosis;
2) Her frustration with the inability to open a packet of pop tarts;
3) A group meeting of PD patients, where the very convincing character speak with humor, about their struggles with daily activities.
For me there were a few very painful moments in the movie. This was mainly because I found her character very realistic.
I went to the movie alone. Didn't even tell my wife what I was seeing. I suppose that the reason for this was I didn't know how it would affect me. It's not for all who suffer, but I'm glad that I saw it.