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Recommended by Disability

Cancer: Major Films  
TitleDying Young (1991)
Alternative/Original Title
DisabilityCancer Leukemia
DirectorJoel Schumacher
CastJulia Roberts Campbell Scott Vincent Phillip D'Onofrio Colleen Dewhurst David Selby Ellen Burstyn
NotesRomance is clearly the favourite mode for revealing the meaning of disability. Julia Roberts is a young woman who becomes a nurse/companion to a wealthy man with leukaemia. They fall in love, who wouldn't with Roberts, and who doesn't with their nurse, secretary, teacher et al? Roberts grows into the job. Earlier she had doubts about her competence. Scott (the rich young man) undergoes chemotherapy and remission. And he doesn't die, at least on camera. This does for the dying what 'Pretty Woman' did for prostitutes. Watched this again, it doesn't get any better. J.R. is pretending to be a working class girl who walks out on her boyfriend when she finds him in bed with another woman. Coming from Oakland, Cal. establishes her as working class which is a bit unfair on its inhabitants. But I've been through the station which is the gateway to San Francisco. and I know what they're getting at. Her own mother calls her a loser. But in no time she's got herself a job on Nob Hill, S.F. looking after the paralysed son of a rich man. She wore the shortest dress by a yard to the interview and wasn't too particular about keeping her knees together. And can you blame him for falling for her. He's been paralysed for 10 years since he was 18 years old. At first she just feels sorry for him during his retching attacks resulting from the chemo. He tries to impress her with his studies for a Ph.D in art, the Impressionists (taking him 5 years so far) She puts him on a healthy diet, you can't see the kitchen top for vegetables. And for some reason we see her putting mayonaise on her hair. Is this a tip for us or him. He takes her to a posh restaurant, she doesn't like that. She takes him to a night club, he doesn't care for that. And so they take off the seaside. He gives up his chemo treatment and appears to be doing well. At which point she says there's no job for her anymore. But that night he gets into her bed.

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