This film is underrated, despised, actually, by most of the pop culture enthusiasts and movie critics I respect. The reason, I think, is that it is an unusually pure example of a bad movie with very good disability depictions at its heart. Yes, once again we have non-disabled actors portraying disabled people. To be sure, Juliette Lewis and Giovanni Ribisi go overboard and seem to have their eyes fixed on intensely craved Oscars. At times, the characters’ adorableness drifts into condescension. Yet, through it all, we get a strong statement in support of freedom, integration, and the dignity of risk for people with intellectual disabilities. Plus, if you care to dig a little deeper, the film can prompt interesting discussions about disability and social class. At the very least, this should be required viewing for anyone applying for direct care and support jobs in the developmental disability field.
Disability life, ideas, identity, culture, commentary, and politics.