My Sister's Keeper

Adapted from a bestseller by Jodi Picoult that I hope to never read, My Sister's Keeper starts with an intriguing premise. Cameron Diaz and Jason Patric conceive a child to keep her leukemic older sister (Sofia Vassilieva) alive through transfusions and transplants. But when Anna (Abigail Breslin), 11, hires a lawyer (Alec Baldwin) to sue for the right to her own body, all hell breaks loose. So does the movie. Though the actors give it a go, notably Diaz, who plays the "crazy bitch" mom with no-bull restraint, director Nick Cassavetes shifts to Notebook mode and jerks tears at every turn. Almost everyone Anna encounters has his or her own tragedy (cancer, epilepsy, a dead child). And each story is set to treacly songs (cue "Life Is Just a Bowl of Cherries") that make the blood curdle. The infuriating cop–out ending reduces the premise to mush. I wanted to scream. Here goes: Arghh!

From The Archives Issue 352: September 17, 1981
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