John Q

John Q.: Denzel Washington
Lt. Grimes Robert Duvall
Dr. Turner: James Woods
Rebecca Payne: Anne Heche
Chief Monroe: Ray Liotta
Denise: Kimberly Elise
Mitch: Shawn Hatosy
Mike: Daniel E. Smith
New Line Cinema presents a film directed by Nick Cassavetes. Written by James Kearns. Running time: 118 minutes. Rating Rated PG-13 (for violence, language and intense thematic elements).

Central Theme
There are no limits on a father’s love for his only and dying son (and by the way the wealthiest nation on earth should be able to provide health insurance for all its citizens).

John Q is a good, hard-working man who has gotten some bad breaks. His factory work has been cut back to part-time and he can’t make ends meet. His wife’s car is repossessed. Then after his young son Mike collapses at a baseball game he learns the boy needs a heart transplant. When John discovers his insurance has been changed from a PPO to an HMO and will cover only $20,000 of a $250,000 operation, he does his best to raise the cash but to no avail. Without a $75,000 down payment the hospital administrator (Anne Heche) refuses to approve the procedure and urges John and Denise to take Mike home to allow him to die a natural death. John takes matters into his own hands, kidnapping the heart surgeon and a handful of emergency room patients and names his terms; put my son on the heart transplant list and I’ll release the hostages.

Beliefs num
–Every human being deserves the best in medical attention
–Insurance companies are bureaucratic money machines and HMO’s are worse than PPO’s
–Wealthy people will get help in today’s hospitals, the poor will get inadequate treatment if any at all.
–Sometimes God isn’t around in your greatest moment of need.

Questions Worth Discussing num
–Was John justified in taking matters into his own hands?
–Who is the real villain in the story? The hospital for requiring payment? The insurance company for refusing to pay beyond the policy’s coverage? The company for securing lousy coverage for their employees? John Q for not providing adequate resources for his family?
–Should the world’s wealthiest nation provide coverage for those who cannot afford it?
–Where is God in moments of great medical crisis?

Provocative Quotes byline
–Jesus loves me
==The family sings in church just before learning Mike is dying
–Take Mike home and make it a happy time
==Hospital Administrator’s advice when she learns they can’t pay
–If it was your son what would you do? I’d do the transplant.
==John asks heart surgeon and he replies
–Somewhere there’s got to be someone who can help me.
==John getting the run around in the system
–I don’t need to hear you’re sorry. I need someone to help me.
==John’s exasperation with the system
–Oh, these papers are for an appeal, you needed to ask for a grievance.
==Hospital administrator to John who has completed the wrong forms, and loses a week of precious time in the process
–I’ll take care of it.
==John to wife when he learns Mike is being released without the surgery
–You always take care of things, but it is never enough is it?
==Wife, exasperated with John
–Do something!!!
==Wife to John
–Can’t you just do one in good faith? I’ll get the money. I’ll pay you.
==John to surgeon just before kidnapping him
–The hospital is under new management.
==John to emergency room patients and staff
–How come nobody is working on Saturday? People get sick on Saturday!
==Hostage negotiator
–Why was my son not tested earlier? Because HMO’s get paid NOT to run tests.
==John learns his son’s condition should have been discovered earlier, and emergency room physician explains how HMO’s work
–How’s this going to end, John?
==Hostage negotiator
–I’m waiting for a miracle, an act of God.
–I would tell you what I think of you, but I’m a Christian woman.
==Denise to hospital administrator
–The whole thing sucks, none of this had to happen, people should be ashamed, painting a man like John into this corner.
==His buddy when asked what he thinks about the hostage situation
–Are you praying John? Yes I’m praying.
==Denise to John
–I swear on my life he’s going to make it. I will not bury my son, my son will bury me!
–Take my heart and put it in him.
==John to surgeon
–I think what John is doing is right.
==Emergency room patient to John’s suggestion
–Let go and let God!
==Emergency room patient advises John
–Don’t cross the line, John. The whole system crosses the line.
==John and heart surgeon
–Always listen to your mother. Treat girls like princesses because they are. If you say you’ll do something. Do it. Your word is your bond. Make as much money as you can, don’t be stupid like your dad. Stay away from bad things.
==John’s last words of advice to son.
–Oh my Sweet Jesus!
==Denise learns there is a match
–Not goodbye. See you later
==The way John and Mike say farewell.
–For Sasha
==Dedication to director Nick Cassavete’s daughter
–John Q. takes a hard look at the common man and how far he would push the envelope to save his child. He’ll sacrifice his job, his house, his money, and ultimately, he’s willing to put his life on the line.
==Producer Mark Burg
–When your child is sick, you have tunnel vision. Nothing else matters..My daughter has a congenital heart disease, and I’ve watched her go through four operations. I know about the runarounds you get from insurance companies, hospitals and doctors.
==Director Nick Cassavetes
–In 1993 I read a newspaper article which quoted an older wealthy man, the recipient of a heart transplant saying If I wasn’t rich, I’d be dead by now. Then I thought about my own kids. What would you do if your child was dying and you were denied access to medical care. The medical insurance companies have become increasingly more powerful and controversial since I first took pen to paper. The health crisis in America and in other parts of the world rages on. It’s an extremely complex issue that affects every strata of our society.
==Screenwriter James Kearns

Posted in Movies, Staublog in February 15, 2002 by | No Comments »

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