Before we start, watch this.
Ok, now that you have seen the trailer let’s talk about the movie.
Short synopsis, Lily Collins plays Ellen (later Eli) a woman who doesn’t eat and works out too much to stay incredibly thin. Keanu Reeves plays Dr. Beckham, a doctor who works with people who have eating disorders, but does it in his own extreme way. Dr. Beckham puts Ellen into an inpatient home with other people like her to try and get better. She doesn’t, but then she does.
Got it? That’s the quick run down, now let’s talk about the move!
Oh, SPOILERS AHEAD
You are probably wondering why in the title of this review I mentioned John Wick. Is there a puppy? Does he go on some crusade for revenge/vengeance for some reason? No, but we will get there just hold tight.
This movie tackles a subject that I think a lot of people deal with in some way. Looking pretty. I know I do. People always want to look their best and in our society that often means “thin is better”. Just google “thinspo” or “thinsporation” and you will find a ton of threads, YouTube channels, reddit forums all about this. It literally rules peoples lives.
I’m not super thin, I’m an overweight white dude. So what do I have to say on this topic? I’ve struggled with weight my entire life. I’ve been in shape and I’ve been over weight. Constantly throughout my life I’ve felt like I wasn’t “right” when it came to my weight. I felt like I was fat when I worked out 5 times a week. I’ve always (and still do) feel like I’m not enough. It’s different than this movie as she turns to not eating and sit-ups to try and be as beautiful as can be and I turn to food, but the root cause is still there.
Enough enough about me and my fatness, let’s talk about the movie.
I’m glad this movie didn’t try to glamorize eating disorders, nor did it try to demonize them. It simple presented them and the damage they can cause, and the “benefits” one can see with them. Anorexia, bulimia, laxatives, what have you. It’s all there, and it’s presented to us in a way that just sort of puts it out there and lets us make our own decision. Yes, this movie leans towards showing these negative, but that is only because it shows the damage it does to the characters lives and the peoples lives around it. You couldn’t have a movie about this topic without this, unless you are 100% glamorizing it.
We also get to see characters at all levels of recovery and relapse. We have a pregnant woman who wants to do her best but can’t stop herself and looses her baby. A girl who seems to be doing really good, but is purging into a paper sack under her bed at night. A boy who is almost done and looking to get back into his ballet shows, only to find out his knee can’t handle it and he’s done. I found that I cared about these characters, that I learned with them.
Do we get a happy ending?
I’ll get there.
Ellen throughout the movie doesn’t really seem to want to get better. She is content with being thin and wants to get thinner. Dr. Beckham is very blunt with her, which I think a lot more doctors need to be with their patients, and flat out tells her “I’m only interested in helping you if you are interested in living.”
She has moments of self discovery where it looks like she might be on the mends, but then crashes back and looses it all.
Ok, let’s talk about why I brought up John Wick. There is a scene where Dr. Beckham is talking to Ellen and he is in an all black suite, and all I could think of was “This is like the John Wick counseling hour.” I love Keanu Reeves, and maybe it’s just that I’m a big fan of John Wick, but every time he was on screen all I could think of was that this is what John Wick did in his off time now that he’s avenged the death of his dog.
That’s an interesting show idea, review movies of Keanu Reeves as if that movie is a John Wick ‘side story’ about the odd jobs of John Wick. hmmm
I kind of rambled there a bit but I enjoyed this movie. The ended wasn’t happy, but it wasn’t sad. Ellen (or Eli by the end) had to be let to hit rock bottom before she could be ok with getting better. Sometimes we have to let our loved ones fail so they can learn to grow. I love that message.
The movie ends with her almost dying in a desert and deciding she does need help, and seeks it on her own. then fade to black.
There’s also a seen where her mom bottle feeds her like a baby towards the end, so theres that.