- Alternate Character Interpretation:
- It's quite easy to view Rory as a Troll who enjoys antagonising everyone he meets, just so he can benefit from Positive Discrimination - which Siobhan accuses him of later in the movie. Or it's also possible that he wants to be treated the same, and so does so many dickish things to provoke people into retaliating.
- It's also possible that Eileen had a personal vendetta against Rory - and deliberately wanted to Break the Haughty early on.
- Broken Base: To this day there are still debates raging over the fact that Rory and Michael weren't played by disabled actors. The camp that dislikes it cites taking away meaty roles from actors with disabilities. The camp that approves of it says that the performances were still good. Particularly Stephen Robertson was praised for his near spot-on portrayal of a man with Cerebral Palsy.
- Harsher in Hindsight: Pretty much written into the movie. Rory and his dad celebrate Rory making it to his 21st birthday and it ends up becoming his last, as he dies at the end of the movie.
- Hilarious in Hindsight:
- Jerkass Woobie: Rory is a huge dick, but it's immediately understandable. To his credit, he shows his softer side early on and establishes himself as a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
- Overshadowed by Controversy: Subverted eventually. Early on, the movie got lots of criticisms for not casting disabled actors as Michael and Rory. But the performances were held in high-regard and it's seen as a good film these days.
- Retroactive Recognition: James McAvoy is best known for portraying the younger Professor Charles Xavier in the X-Men Film Series.
- Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped:
"If you want to be an equal, then you have to SHOW people the SAME respect that you demanded of them! In the real world, if you insult some guy in a pub, then you expect to get hammered! If you come home late in the middle of the night, you don't EXPECT to find the help waiting in. And if a woman says no to you, you accept that maybe you're NOT the right man for her! You don't assume you have some automatic right to love because you're in a wheelchair!"
- The care home is Anviliciously shown to be like a prison or boarding school, where the residents are treated like children ("we don't allow coarse language here"). But the movie makes a great point about the substandard care for disabled people, where it's forgotten that the place is meant to be a home - and not a place to keep people. This was based primarily off the screenwriter's own experiences working in a care home.
- Siobhan rather awesomely challenges the Entitled to Have You attitude when Rory tries to frame her as a bitch for rejecting Michael's advances.
- And another positive message - that a disabled person can have a full life just like an able-bodied person. They can't have exactly the same lifestyle, but it's fully possible and it should be strived for.
- Strawman Has a Point: Well playing loud music in the middle of the night is actually quite rude, especially when there are other residents to think of. Of course Eileen and her staff never thought of giving Rory a set of headphones so he could listen to his music and not disturb anyone.
- Tear Jerker:
"that is what I call a gift."
- Rory's death in the hospital towards the end of the movie. And his poor father's reaction.
- Rory's speech to Michael about how he has his entire life to live, while he himself is on borrowed time.
Rory: Rory O'Shea was here.Michael points to his heart.Michael: Rory O'Shea is here.
- And this exchange as Rory lies dying.
YMMV / Rory O'Shea Was Here