Monday, March 15, 2010

Everything Under the Sun: Extraordinary Measures, a Family-Drama Movie

Extraordinary Measures, a Family-Drama Movie

     Last week, my husband and I went to the movies and we wanted to watch an action film. And so we saw the poster of this movie with Brendan Fraser and Harrison Ford and figured together that this was an action film. But, it's actually a family-drama film based on the true story of John Crowley and his family.
     I know that Animetric's World has already reviewed this film but please do indulge me for sharing with you what I experienced watching the movie and for the things that I learned from my research about this film.

     The film's website has a button 'About John Crowley' which is a video featuring John Crowley talking about his life and his family's struggle with Pompe disease which two of his three children has--Megan and Patrick. This is the first time I've heard of this kind of disease or disorder. According to, Pompe disease is a rare inherited neuromuscular disorder that causes progressive muscle weakness in people of all ages. It is caused by a defective gene that results in a deficiency of an enzyme--acid alphagucosidase (GAA). The absence of this enzyme results in excessive build-up of glycogen, a form of sugar that is stored in a specialized compartment of the muscle cells throughout the body.  In the video, John's kids looked 'different' from the kids who portrayed them in the film; their lower faces looked puffed up and they don't smile, but both of them are also in wheelchairs.

     'Extraordinary Measures' is about John Crowley's (portrayed by Brendan Fraser) fight to keep his children alive, leaving a steady job and risking all to engage in business with a scientist, Dr. Robert Stonehill (portrayed by Harrison Ford), in the hope of finding a cure for the disease. Funny how the 90 plus something thousand dollars initial investment raised by John and his wife Aileen from a fund-raising campaign for Pompe-affected families turned into, what could only be from divine intervention, the sale of their company to a large pharmaceutical and research company with them taken in as executives of the pharmaceutical company. John struggled to push this big company to allow his children to be the first to be tested on with the enzyme, but of course, after the drama, it's a happy ending.

     This film shares with us the great love of a natural father and mother (Aileen is John's wife), to their children and that in their intense desire for them to live a normal, long life, they would go through great lengths and extraordinary measures to see to it that it is so.


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