Long Term Diagnosis
Lainey (Rebecca De Mornay - The Three Musketeers) and Jay Berman (Barclay Hope) along with their children as all happy that is until one day whilst out for an early morning run Jay tumbles down a hill and hits his head. Stuck in a coma Lainey deeply believes that he will come out of it but as time passes the hospital refuse to continue treating him as they need the space and so Lainey is forced to transfer him to a second rate rehabilitation centre where the staff don't care. With Lainey taking on the caring duties which the staff fail to do it puts strain on her situation back home with her children but through a friendship with Ted Merrick (Henry Czerny - Choices of the Heart: The Margaret Sanger Story) who is going through a similar situation she finds the inner strength to keep on going.
So "Range of Motion" or "Our Gift of Love" as it was shown on the schedule as takes a look at the journey of a wife dealing with a partner in a comatose state, a situation which most of us are aware of but may never encounter. It is a touching and well made movie which takes us on that journey of living on the love and devotion to a partner to keep you going. And as I mentioned in the synopsis it also highlights the stress the situation puts you under back at home where you are unable to be a proper mother to your children and friend to you neighbour who is going through their own crisis.
At the same time it also shows us a vision of the medical system in America, a system which being a Brit in the UK is alien to me and frankly after watching this I am glad it is. We see how Lainey constantly battles the staff at the rehabilitation centre who don't care for the patients and who think she is crackers for devoting so much time to her husband. This also brings in the friendship, that bond which forms between Lainey and the husband of another patient as they go through the same issues leading to conflicted feelings of loneliness.
Now the thing is that "Range of Motion" isn't a movie which is going to blow you away, it isn't an inspiring story or a happy one. But it will open your eyes to what someone goes through when dealing with a loved one in a long term coma and the difficulties it brings from strain at home to personal doubts and that sense of lack of closure. And it is thanks to the subtle performance of Rebecca De Mornay that it succeeds in doing this because she never overplays her part, just keeping it real by always looking torn between what she should be doing.
What this all boils down to is that "Range of Motion" isn't a spectacular movie, it is only average at best but it is eye opening for those who have never gone through dealing with a loved on in a long term coma.