The Medicine Show (2001)

R   |    |  Comedy, Drama, Romance


The Medicine Show (2001) Poster

A cynical young man, diagnosed with cancer, meets a brash young leukemia patient in the hospital who more than matches his distaste for IV drips and weepy sentimentality.


6.4/10
280

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Awards

1 win.

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5 April 2002 | mweston
8
| 3.5 stars
Jonathan Silverman plays Taylor Darcy, who, as we learn within the first few minutes of the film, has colon cancer, and whose father died of colon cancer. We also learn from the beginning that he doesn't take anything seriously, preferring to deal with the world using his sarcastic wit. He tries to keep his cancer quiet at work, where he writes for cartoons, but soon everyone knows and is treating him as "special," which he can't stand. Various tests leading up to his operation are shown, some (an incompetent nurse drawing blood) in more detail than I might have liked. Since the film is from Taylor's perspective, he is not conscious during the operation itself, so thankfully that is not shown. Silverman is excellent as Taylor, and a character named Lynn Piegi, who appears later in the film, is also played very well by Natasha Gregson Wagner (daughter of Natalie Wood and step-daughter of Robert Wagner).

But I think what really makes this excellent dark comedy (yes, a comedy about cancer) work is the script. The first time director, Wendell Morris, also wrote the script, and it turns out that what Taylor goes through is very much what Wendell went though (including being a cartoon writer).

I saw this film at the Camera Cinema Club where Wendell spoke and answered questions after the film. It was made for a very low budget (shot in only 18 days), but because Silverman agreed to be in it enough money was available to shoot on film, and it looks reasonably good. It is expected to play on Showtime this summer.

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Genres

Comedy | Drama | Romance

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