Extraordinary Measures Tom Vaughan

Extraordinary Measures Tom Vaughan
When Extraordinary Measures opens, John Crowley (Brendan Fraser) is working away in his office while his wife Aileen (Keri Russell) reads to her son. Their daughter, however, wheels wildly through their house in her motorized wheelchair creating havoc, because kids will be kids. We know this is all okay though because Keri Russell gives her "aw shucks" 7th Heaven head tilt towards Brendan Fraser, who lends his trademark Encino Man grin. Even the Brothers & Sisters soundtrack points to playful mischief, only instead of Sally Field obnoxiously stirring up trouble for her insipid children, we have the true story of Crowley's "extraordinary" risks and undertakings to save the lives of his children, suffering from Pompe's disease. Because these are real people struggling with something unimaginable, this psychotic Leave it to Beaver handling comes off as strangely distasteful and patronizing. Even the introduction of the experimental medical researcher that may have the cure for Pompe's, Robert Stonehill (Harrison Ford), comes with a wallop of cheddar. He plays with whiteboard formulas while drinking a beer, wearing jeans and listening to generic "rock" music, because he's so aberrant and vanguard. He even gets off on the wrong foot with Crowley, who calls him an "asshole" during their first phone conversation. But, again, their goofy reactions and the playful soundtrack let us know that these two will work it out, because they're little more than tedious ciphers for an overwhelmingly schlocky attempt at contrived whimsy. The "behind the scenes" supplement on the DVD suggests that the intention was to create something uplifting, something that would make people believe in the impossible. Of course, it's misleading bullshit, but there is an enormous audience for manipulative, insulting manure — just look at the success of The Blind Side. On the other hand, one thing this tale of overcoming obstacles does well is detail the crap people have to go through dealing with office politics. The number of hoops that Crowley and Stonehill have to jump through to get a drug for Pompe's made and the amount of ass they have to kiss for arbitrary and ridiculous reasons will be familiar to anyone that has ever tried to get something simple done in a corporate environment. It's just unfortunate that the rest of the movie is like watching a particularly preachy and sanctimonious episode of The Donna Reed Show while drunk. (Alliance)