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    • #30067
      DeAnn R
      Keymaster

      Going to the movies is an activity that I’ve been easing back into. Although I avoided the crowds on National Cinema Day, I did venture out to see Gigi & Nate recently. Never heard of it? You’re not alone. I get a blank look most of the time when I bring it up. Basically, it’s about a guy who’s quadriplegic and his service monkey. Yes, service monkeys are a thing. Kind of. Really, it’s about much more than that.

      Again, we have a movie where the main character, Nate Gibson, is played by an able-bodied actor, Charlie Rowe. In this instance, since such a large portion of the film was pre-injury, I’ll let it slide. Several scenes throughout the movie did include extras with actual disabilities so that’s progress. Much of the movie focused on family dynamics pre and post-injury. Because my disability is from birth and not acquired, I sometimes wonder how accurate the emotional toll being portrayed is. I imagine it’s not too far off. However, does everyone who becomes a quadriplegic want to end their life? I’m hoping it’s just Hollywood drama. Personally, I feel like it plays into the false stigma that life with a disability must be horrible, tragic, and not worth living.

      Have you ever heard of vision boards? They predate Pinterest. Since I didn’t have the physicality to create one, I had a box. In it, items like magazine clippings that piqued my interest. One of which was an article about a guy with a service monkey. It’s part of what inspired me to seek a service dog. From my understanding, this movie was loosely based on a man, Edward ‘Ned’ Sullivan, and his monkey, Kasey. Despite several differences between Ned and Nate’s stories, the premise of a capuchin monkey rescuing them remains the same. Having a service animal myself, I can attest to their value. However, I feel like the movie placed a heavy emphasis on the monkey being the sole reason for his happiness. Yes, a service animal can enhance your life, but you’re no less of a person without one.

      Although my review is less than glowing, overall, I enjoyed the movie. It had unexpected twists, drama, humor, and a cute monkey. Supposedly the actor didn’t let the monkey see him out of the chair so it wouldn’t be confusing for it. What was confusing for me was the final scene of the film. In his Permobil (obvious from product placement) he cruises to the edge of a stairwell wearing Nike high-tops overlooking a bustling campus. More likely he’d be looking for the ramp wearing more sensible shoes.

      Have you seen the movie? What are your thoughts on the film?

      Source:
      https://www.historyvshollywood.com/reelfaces/gigi-and-nate/

    • #30073
      Alyssa Silva
      Keymaster

      Hmm, I don’t think I’ve heard of Gigi & Nate. However, I’m not the biggest moviegoer. From what you’ve said though it sounds like another Hollywood film that misrepresents the life of a quadriplegic. The premise of it sounds good. But I’m so sick and tired of Hollywood portraying disabled folks only as sad and tragic. Like you said, they’re portraying a stigma.

      • #30086
        DeAnn R
        Keymaster

        Overall it was a good movie. Some aspects were accurate. It just bothers me when movie after movie portrays how tragic living with a disability is. Maybe they’re just trying to get people thinking about how different their life would be. I don’t know. Rubs me the wrong way.

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