Movie Review: Going In Style

For the past few years it was pretty hard for me to see movies.

For one, I was worried about my oxygen tank running out (I had one leak in the theatre once) & it was hard to fit it in the seats even in the disabled seating area.

(Even when I had my portable concentrator I was self conscious about if it was making too much noise even when it was stowed under my seat.)

But now, post transplant I find I can go to a matinee & enjoy myself without having to worry too much about crowds & germs (I do carry my mask in case).

My attention is also better.

It’s a relief because I really do enjoy movies, documentaries especially.

I saw a bit of info about Going In Style from the National Kidney Foundation‘s  Facebook page.

It mentioned that one of the character’s storylines had an experience with living kidney donation.  This intrigued me but also made me hesitant at first.

So many times in the past Hollywood films portraying any transplant related storylines usually do what TV does too often, perpetuate myths & oversimplify pre & post transplant life.

I was glad to say this was different.

I wish I could reveal more, but to do so would add spoilers to the movie.

All I can say is that I commend Zach Braff for trying to be true to the experience.

The whole living donor storyline doesn’t take up much of the story overall, but what little they did show as far as insight into it was real.

According to, 30 percent of those who are waiting for an organ to be donated are African-American. Of that 30 percent, 34 percent of them are waiting on kidneys.  So the casting & placement of that storyline here is remarkably on the pulse, which sometimes Hollywood is not known for.

I was so happy to see a small (yet relevant & believable) portrayal instead of something for shock or perpetuating myths for “entertainment value” or melodrama.

The only thing that would have made this more relevant was to use an African-American actor who actually did have a kidney transplant.

I do realize that the age they were casting might have made this a more difficult endeavor, but it would have lended another dimension of authenticity to the storyline.  Yet, Morgan Freeman did a great job capturing some of that emotion of the transplant experience.

I didn’t realize this was a remake either.

I think the differences in this movie from the original (which I’ll have to dig up to watch) are important & make this unique but still remains faithful to the essence of the 1979 original with George Burns, Art Carney, & Lee Strasberg.

I think this was worth seeing.

Comedy wise & moments wise it reminded me of Grumpy Old Men (with some of the ribbing between friends) so it had its charm.

(Photo credit: Photo linked from IMDB.)


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