So Much So Fast

"Good"

So Much So Fast Review


The notion of fraternal love has been run around the film course just a few too many times. So, a film about a young man fighting for his life when he is diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) and his brother's fight to put together a ragtag foundation to find a cure for the disease isn't exactly ringing the dinner bell. Even with ace documentarians Stephen Ascher and Jeanne Jordan behind the camera, this sounds like a clunker of the highest magnitude. Somehow, it's not nearly the car crash it could be.

Stephen Heywood had a promising future in architecture and a lovely girlfriend named Wendy when, at the age of 29, he was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's Disease. ALS attacks one's entire body and tends to cause complete paralysis and/or death within a few years of onset. Where most movies, documentary or narrative, would go the "live every day to the fullest" root, Heywood is a logical, oft-comical man who pretty much brushes that idealism off as balderdash. Instead, Heywood marries Wendy and has a son with her. He then goes about designing and building two houses for his new family.

While he is off accomplishing this, his brother Jamie has been plotting to beat the disease by any means necessary. Jamie assembles a "guerilla" science research foundation that quickly blossoms from a small gathering of people in a basement to the largest ALS-research foundation in the world. He becomes obsessed with finding a cure for his now helpless brother.

Though a tearjerker at heart, So Much So Fast actually has a relatively simple idea of how to not turn itself into a sobfest: using real people. Jamie and Stephen seems like people you go to work with everyday, without grand opinions on the sanctity of life and the importance of daily worth. Stephen's only real wish: to have sex on camera more times than he has. Stephen just cares about his young family and doesn't seem to care about "tasting life" in some flurry of extreme sports clichés and one-on-one talks with every person he had an iota of feeling for.

There's integrity here, sure, and the fact that it's real life gives its normal melodramatic turns finesse. But these sappy moments still exist, and that's what halts the film from being a great movie and gets it stuck in just being a pretty good one. Still, Heywood and his brood are people you wish you knew; these are people you would love to watch every week in place of Extreme Makeover or House of Carters. Ascher and Jordan, who are married, are smart enough to back off from the material and allow the stories of these people stand on their own legs. So Much So Fast has another neat trick: It serves as a fascinating personal document of dealing with ALS; a disease often talked about but rarely understood to the degree that one gets in this film. Brotherly love or not, that's something few films can bring around the track.



So Much So Fast

Facts and Figures

Run time: 87 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 11th October 2006

Distributed by: Balcony Releasing

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 96%
Fresh: 22 Rotten: 1

IMDB: 7.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Stephen Ascher, Jeanne Jordan

Producer: Stephen Ascher, Jeanne Jordan

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