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Headscratchers: My Sister's Keeper
  • Am I the only one who liked the movie ending better than the book ending? To me, the book ending seemed like a case of God saying "Screw you, you're parts and parts is all you'll ever be", making the whole thing needlessly nihilistic.
    • Hell yeah it was better. The book made Anne's court case almost completely pointless by killing her and having someone else choose to give away her organs. The entire point of the court case was that Kate wanted to die and Anne had the right to make her own medical choices, which is exactly what they got in the movie. I don't know what Jodi Picoult was thinking by killing her off.
      • I actually preferred the book ending. After watching the movie, I just walked away normally. A few weeks later, after finishing the book, I stared into thin air for ages just contemplating that ending (and nearly ran into a tree). It felt so much more poignant and emotionally moving this way.
      • I also preferred the book ending. The book ending gets the point of Anna's love for Kate across deeper than in the film. The book dose leave you staring at wall thinking quite hard about the moral and ethical values of the book.
      • I think both endings work well for the tone of the book and the film. The book keeps you guessing and makes you question the issues at hand, so the twist ending was in keeping with the rest of the book. The film had a much different tone; it was more fuzzy-feeling-family-drama than ethical debate. I think if they'd put the book's ending with the film as it was it would have felt like genre-whiplash. The changed ending fit better with the rest of the film.
      • I agree with the troper above. I prefered the book version (end included), because the film, turns a moral debate into another tearjerking-help-support-Cancer movie, which while important is generic. The ending fitted the film, but the film missed the point of the book.
      • I prefer the move ending better. Annie went through all the trouble to free from being just a medical thing, causing trouble in her family and grant her sister's wish of finally being released from the pain. And what does she get?!? She dies in the book ending! JEEZ JODI PICOULT! I like your books, but this ending is just as bad as Handle with Care where Willow drowned! What is the point of having so work so hard and that being taken from you! People should what they want if they work hard for it!
      • The movie ending does make you feel better and presents a better moral. I think the book's message is that the book has no message. Jodi was trying to make it represent real life, since life just happens, it doesn't care what lesson you take from it.
      • My theory was that the book ending was a cruel case of getting what you technically said you wanted. Brian and Sara only had Anna in the first place to be a donor for Kate, her quality of life was awful because they kept putting her through surgeries, and they routinely had her undergo incredibly risky surgeries. Sara wanted spare parts for Kate, and that's what she got - she just never thought about what it would cost.
      • Add me to the "movie ending > book ending" list (for a variety of reasons, not least Anna being my favourite character in both book and movie) - you can't blame Nick Cassavetes and/or New Line for deciding to change it, because it would have been really difficult to pull off such a blatant example of Diabolus ex Machina convincingly on screen (it grates even in print, to be honest). In fairness to both Cassavetes and Jodi Picoult, however, there's really no way you could have ended this story in any version without guaranteeing one side will be pissed off.
    • I haven't watched the movie, but I find the ending of the book to be too cruel. The message of the book really seems to be that Annie's fate was to be Kate's spare parts shop; and if God really is that cruel, then this world's not worth living in.
    • I liked the book ending better as well. The epilogue seemed to tie everything to a close with Sara and Brian realizing how much Anna meant to them, not just for her spare parts.
  • What world is this, that Sara gets to act as lawyer in a case that involves her own family members? (On both sides, no less.) Is that even legal?
    • You're thinking of doctor, who are legally not allowed to operate on family members and friends. In the case of lawyers, it's ill advised but legal.
  • In relation to the first problem stated...I was going to add my bit, but I didn't want to make it longer, as this will open up a different set of issues: The edition this troper owned contained an interview with Jodi Picoult after the very end. One of the questions she was asked was why she chose to end it this way. Her answer? Because it was the most "medically realistic" ending according to a nurse she talked to. I could go into incessant ranting about this, but...yeah.
    • Saying it is medically realistic isn't fair. The nurse would obviously say that this would be the right ending because she would always be on the side of the one who is sick, not considering anyone's else feelings.
    • I took "medically realistic" to mean that Picoult wanted Kate to survive, and the nurse agreed the only "medically realistic" way she would survive would be to get the transplant — so bye-bye, Anna, tough cookies. I can't imagine any scenario where "medically realistic" = "be rendered brain dead in a freak car accident minutes after becoming medically emancipated after which your guardian agrees to have your organs harvested without a second thought". I certainly wouldn't want to be a patient at a hospital with that definition of medical realism...Mind you, I suspect that section of the interview was mostly an exercise in passing the buck for the Deus Angst Machina / Debate and Switch.
  • At the start of the movie, the doctor who suggests Sarah have a Designer Baby states that it's technically illegal. Why wasn't Anna taken away when she mentioned she was a Walking Transplant?
    • Perhaps they exploited a legal loophole, or it was an "open secret" at first — everyone knew why Anna was really born, but everyone was careful not to write it down in case it was used as proof. By the time of the court case, though, there's less justification. I suppose since there's a case already in motion that would prevent her being used as an organ factory, the legal system might have decided on one case at a time — perhaps Child Protection would have stepped in if Anna lost the case? This is one bit that I think the book did far better than the film; the doctor is put on the stand and grilled by Campbell, who demands to know why the hospital allowed dangerous, painful and invasive procedures on a patient when her best interests were not served by the procedures. It makes it clear the the hospital had to bear some responsibility for suggesting that course of action inb the first place...of course, nothing ever comes of it, as far as we know.
    • How the hell did the parents in either the book or the movie even get to keep custody of their kids? One ends up a semi-psychotic pyromaniac out of neglect, and the other they treated like an organ bank? Especially the mother, they're just awful, AWFUL people.
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