Any family stricken with an illness is at a standstill. A point that is proven in “My Sister’s Keeper”, an adaptation from a 2004 novel from Jodi Picoult, following the life of two sisters. A tale of a real-life couple (Mary and Abe Ayala) who decided to conceive a baby specifically to have a DNA match for Anissa, their older leukemia diagnosed daughter. In the film Abigail Breslin plays Anna, who was manufactured as spare parts for her sister, Kate (Sofia Vassilieva). Their parents have a strained relationship from the cancer. Sara Fitzgerald (Cameron Diaz) is the strong willed mother who has given up her career as a lawyer to be a full time care-giver to Kate. While becoming the dominant parent she has isolated her husband Brian (Jason Patric) and left the other children feeling abandoned. Not concerned about the needs of Sara and ignoring the guidance Jesse (Evan Ellingson), the girl’s brother needs.
Not wanting to take the pain and suffering any longer Anna decides to stand up to her parents. After 11 years of her entire life, being poked and prodded she hires a colorful attorney Campbell Alexander (Alec Baldwin) in an attempt to gain emancipation for medical needs from her parents. Wanting the right to choose what happens to her. Eventually leading to court where Judge De Salvo (Joan Cusack) presides at the trial, which turns into a circus. The story eventually takes a turn where you realize the true reasons behind Anna’s actions.
There is no lack of suffering in this film filled with many scenes of Kate’s continuous misery. Many scenes are muddled through the narrative history. We are sent from a scene with Kate ill in the hospital, then we flash to her healthy as a child, next thing you know she is bald, and then back and forth again. It was borderline nauseating and made it very hard to find an emotional attachment to the characters. Cameron Diaz does prove she can take on a serious role, in a refreshing portrayal of the emotional mother that wants nothing more than to save her daughter. The talented Abigail Breslin was pleasant as always, proving once again she is one of the true young talents. Aside from the leading performances this film falls apart. Not only are the scenes laid out bad, but the film does not live up to the novel. Novel readers will most likely feel duped and leave the theatre deceived. Two hours later I felt as if I was heartless, as all this film did was make me wish I had the last two hours back, even after all the melodramatic pain and suffering.