A young anorexic girl who has resisted treatment many times and is on the verge of death goes to a new center under a slightly unusual doctor.
Her manner is dour and sarcastic yet the actress does a good job of keeping her likeable. Each time I started to get tired of her attitude, we’d see another piece of the puzzle that was Eli’s problem and her manner would change back to tender, scared, vulnerable… child-like. Because even as a 20 year old, that’s what she is really.
It’s not that Eli can’t eat; Eli’s biggest problem was that she just couldn’t find it in her to want to keep living. This movie shows that recovery starts with choosing to live. Make no mistake, this movie does not skimp on the dangerous reality that is anorexia. It’s not just being “too skinny” – there are a host of repercussions to this disease and you will see or hear about many of them. They are not at all pretty, either. I do wish they had worked a little harder on making Eli believable as an anorexic, though. The makeup and wardrobe was good but her full lustrous shiny hair was a bit much. Her perfect dewy skin too. But overall, nice job on the cheap.
I endorse this movie. Another good lesson was something the doctor says to Eli. He tells her there are no guarantees of success and happiness. Things can suck and be terrible and go wrong. But to live on your own terms is the way to true health and freedom. Eli looked at him and said “that’s it? that’s your big wisdom? ‘grow a pair’?” and even though, no, he meant something deeper than that, in a way, that was true. You can’t cling to ‘safety’ forever in fear of things going wrong because safety is also stasis. And whether you’re in stasis or careening through in risk, you’re still going to experience bad things, downturns and death. Without risk, though, you can’t ever live free