Please Stand By: Movie Review

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So, I saw Dakota Fanning starring in a movie where she writes a movie script for Star Trek. I like both Dakota Fanning and Star Trek so, what the hell, why not try it out?

Dakota plays a young woman named Wendy who has moderate-severe autism but she’s still able to function and hold down a job under supervision. I’ve worked in facilities where there are youth units joined with elder care and memory care units, and I have to say it’s a very accurate portrayal of what it’s like to live in a group home. There’s just not really a “home” feeling in a group home setting and it can wear people down easily. In your own home, you decide what you want to do and when, but in facilities, there are often mandatory or “strongly encouraged” activities at set times on set days and you’re expected to adhere to the schedule. These are done under the best intentions, staff members are just trying to make sure people are active, and no one starts to sink into themselves and into depression. But, for someone who wants to be alone and does solitary activities like writing, it can be a trying experience. There was a scene that really got to me, when Wendy’s sister came to visit it was very reminiscent of things I go through every day with clients and their families. They beg to go home, they’re unhappy living in the group homes despite the staff’s best efforts to make them feel happy and at home. It’s an enormous strain on both the people in the home and their families who feel like they have to force them to stay there because there are no other options.

Wendy has been working on a script for a writing competition for a new Star Trek movie. She’s been working on it every day for a long time and she’s absolutely dedicated to it, obsessed with it, really. She finds comfort in Spock’s character since he has difficulty processing his emotions, and she wrote a story about him finding a scientific algorithm for humor, amongst other things. She has a deadline to turn in the script and misses it because her visit with her sister went so poorly. So, she runs away from home and tries to make it from Oakland Ca, to Los Angeles to hand in her script to Paramount Pictures.

She gets fucked over so many times from so many different people, she keeps trying to trust strangers to help her, but it’s not usually a good idea. And that’s really it, that’s the entire plot to the story, it’s one of those movies that are “low stakes” and just a story about one person’s personal adventure doing something they’re passionate about.

I took a look at the IMDB ratings and Rotten Tomatoes and they’re both around 65-68% which I’m going to go ahead and disagree with. Probably because the subject matter hit right at my heart since I work with people like this daily. Not to mention I’m also a die-hard Trekkie who’s had a love for Spock for decades.

My Rating: 77/100


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