|Brendan Fraser plays Crowley, even though he's about a foot and half taller than the real Crowley. Harrison Ford plays Dr. Robert Stonehill, the cranky, but very committed medical researcher who joins up with Crowley.|
Give the complexity of the disease, of the business deals, and of the people affected, both in the family and in the research and business community, the story had to be greatly simplified for the movie, but they also sanitized it a bit. Great family though they are, the movie made them seem even more happy, cheerful, and optimistic than is likely. Not a big deal, but it robs the Crowleys of their humanity, giving Extraordinay Measures a Lifetime Channel movie of the week fairy tale feel, cheapening a great story. And this is a minor quibble, but why did they move the research facility from Oklahoma to Nebraska? Did OU refuse to cooperate? Did the state of Nebraska bribe them to do so?
Quibbles aside, Extraordinary Measures brings the Crowley's story to a much wider audience than the books or WSJ articles could. More than that, it brings attention to the importance of research for rare diseases. The drug companies may not deem it cost-effective to research cures for diseases that affect a very small number of patients. The Crowleys remind us that we don't have to sit around and wait for a cure; even an ordinary guy like John Crowley with no medical background can make something extraordinary happen.
Bottom line, 3 stars.