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#1
Old 02-10-2003, 10:23 AM
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Profoundly Normal-- Any body else see this movie?

It was a love story, so I watched-- I'm a romance freak (as evidenced by my webpage).

Based on the true story of Donna and Ricardo Thorton, a retarded couple who marry and have a child (please don't slam me for using the word "retarded". I don't remember what the latest PC wording for retarded is.) The movie shows them to be exactly as the title claims, profoundly normal. I thought the movie was great. But it left me with a few questions.

1)Donna's friend Margret-- Donna asks in an interview section "Is there a difference between retarded and crazy?" Seeing the way they were brought up in the home, I find it amazing that all of them did not end up with emotional problems. Was Margret's inability to live independantly because of her retardation or because of some sort of mental illness?

2)The movie made it seem as if the general public was behind them in their marriage, but the tide turned when they had a child. Not because of their retardation, but because the child was a mixed race child. Was this just the movie picking up on a new obsticle and running with it or was the general public really more upset about the miscegenation than the fact that two retarded people where raising a child?

3)I noticed in the Special Olympics spot the real family did that the son, although not retarded, spoke with the slow cadence that those who a retarded use. I was wondering if this was done for the commercial or does he actually speak that way (in the movie, he didn't)

4)The rape of Donna and Lerlean and the subsequent death of Lerlean. This disturbed me greatly. There was no investigation? Did the authorities actually believe the girls did that to each other or did they just not want to stir any trouble? Donna's social worker seemed dubious, but did nothing. This really made me want to jump up and kick somebody's ass.



Kristy Alley was quite good, I'm surprised to say. So, did you watch? What do you think?
#2
Old 02-10-2003, 10:31 AM
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Oh yea and another thing the movie passed over rather quickly-- Ricardo's fear of not being able to be a good father to a child that is smarter than you. The movie shows a little of Ricky's fustration dealing with hid Dad and showing his Mom how to do some simple math.


I wonder if there is a follow up on them somewhere.
#3
Old 02-10-2003, 10:59 AM
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I saw the movie too and also left with some questions.

Quote:
Was Margret's inability to live independantly because of her retardation or because of some sort of mental illness?
I bet it's a combination of both. She may have been mentally and emotionally retarded to begin with, and being raised in an institution probably didn't help. I would have been scared to live by myself too if I had been cooped up in a hospital my whole life. I'm thinking Kirstie Allie's character had better coping skills than Margaret; either that, or she was simply not as disabled as she was.

Quote:
2)The movie made it seem as if the general public was behind them in their marriage, but the tide turned when they had a child. Not because of their retardation, but because the child was a mixed race child. Was this just the movie picking up on a new obsticle and running with it or was the general public really more upset about the miscegenation than the fact that two retarded people where raising a child?
I was wondering about that too! It was like no one questioned whether or not the two could raise a baby (which, to me, would be a more valid concern than anything else). I can't imagine them raising that baby without some support, but they didn't reveal anything. One moment the baby was a baby and then it was a grown-ass teenager! The father was up there worrying about how to raise a smart child, but the child had already been "raised" at that point in the movie!

Quote:
3)I noticed in the Special Olympics spot the real family did that the son, although not retarded, spoke with the slow cadence that those who a retarded use. I was wondering if this was done for the commercial or does he actually speak that way (in the movie, he didn't)
They featured the family on news after the movie (you should have stayed tuned!). The son really does speak like that. Maybe he picked it up from his parents.

The whole story with Lerlean was sad, but the ending made me think (in an old lady's voice): "God works in mysterious ways."

I don't understand what the deal was with Ricardo's family. Was everyone--including his parents--retarded? And are Ricardo and Donna's mental retardation genetic? It must be, if the doctors thought their baby was going to have problems (and also if Ricardo's whole family is retarded). If their baby had been born with problems, the story would have been a sad one.

I thought Kirstie Allie did a good job too, but I couldn't help but flashback to that movie North and South when she was married to a black man. All her characters got the flava!
#4
Old 02-10-2003, 11:51 AM
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I went fishing around the 'net and found this disturbing report on what happened to the inmates (can't think of a better word here) of Forest Haven, the institution Donna and Ricardo were put into as children.

Forest Haven may be closed, but its legacy lives on.
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