Conceived by means of in vitro fertilization, Anna Fitzgerald (Abigail Breslin) was brought into the world to be a genetic match for her older sister, Kate (Sofia Vassilieva), who suffers from acute promyelocytic leukemia. Because of her sister’s dependency on her, Anna is unable to live the life she wants; in and out of the hospital constantly, she cannot take part in extracurricular activities such as cheerleading or soccer. When Kate turns 13 she goes into renal failure. Knowing that she will have to donate one of her kidneys to her sister, Anna sues her parents for medical emancipation and the rights to her own body. Attorney Campbell Alexander (Alec Baldwin) agrees to work for Anna pro bono.
The film is interlaced with flashbacks that detail the strong relationship between Kate and Anna, as well as how Kate’s illness has affected her siblings’ lives. Before the result of the case is known, it is revealed that Kate had asked Anna to file for medical emancipation. Believing that she would not survive the surgery, Kate wants to die. Anna wins the case, and due to her sister’s wishes does not donate her kidney. Kate later dies at the hospital. The family moves on with their lives, being changed by Kate’s death, but every year on Kate’s birthday they go to Montana, which was her favorite place in the world.
Conceived by means of in vitro fertilization, Anna Fitzgerald (Abigail Breslin) was brought into the world to be a genetic match for her older sister, Kate (Sofia Vassilieva), who suffers from acute promyelocytic leukemia, in order to keep her alive. Her family members are introduced one by one and each tells about how Kate’s illness has affected them personally and the family. When Kate turns 15, she goes into renal failure. Eleven-year-old Anna knows that she will be forced by her parents to donate one of her kidneys. She also realizes that she may not be able to live the life she will want to lead – she may be unable to cheer-lead, play soccer, or be a mother. Anna tells her parents that she does not want any of this, and proceeds to sue them for medical emancipation and the rights to her own body. Her overprotective mother, Sara (Cameron Diaz), who leads an obsessive campaign to keep Kate alive, is indignant at Anna’s decision and even strikes her across the face when she receives the notice of intended prosecution. Attorney Campbell Alexander (Alec Baldwin) agrees to work for Anna as her guardian ad litem, suing for partial termination of parental rights. It is later learned he agreed to take the case not for the notoriety, but because he has epilepsy and understands her predicament of not having control over her own body.
The film is interlaced with flashbacks that detail Kate and Anna’s closeness, as well as how Kate’s illness has affected her siblings’ lives and their relationships. In a flashback, Kate also meets a fellow cancer patient, Taylor Ambrose (Thomas Dekker), whom she begins dating. After a date, they share their first kiss outside Kate’s house, with Sara and Kate’s father Brian (Jason Patric) watching from their bedroom window. After this, he becomes her boyfriend in and out of hospital and supports her as she undergoes treatment. He then asks her to the hospital’s “prom” for teen patients; there, they slow-dance, then proceed to a vacant hospital room to make love. A few days later, Kate is crying because Taylor hasn’t called her for several days. Her mother Sara is furious when Kate mentions they did “stuff” after the prom and storms out to ask the nurse where Taylor is, evidently believing that he had dated her daughter merely to sleep with her, and learns that he has died.
Kate makes a request to go to the beach one last time, and Brian obtains permission from her doctor and removes her from the hospital to take her and the kids. Overprotective as ever, Sara is furious when Brian shows up at the house with Kate and demands that she be returned to the hospital. Brian angrily refuses and drives off, threatening Sara with a divorce if she does not join them. Sara later shows up at the beach, where they enjoy one final family outing. To Sara’s dismay, the judge (Joan Cusack) refuses to grant summary dismissal, and the case goes to a hearing. During the hearing, Anna and Kate’s older brother, Jesse reveal that Anna’s actions are actually under Kate’s instruction; Kate, not wanting to live any longer, and knowing Sara refuses to hear any option other than her desired one, had gently persuaded Anna to refuse to donate her kidney. Sara is indignant at this discovery, but is finally forced by both Jesse and Brian to realize that Kate had been trying to tell her this for some time. Before the case is decided, Kate dies while sleeping at the hospital with her mother by her side. After Kate’s death, Campbell brings the court decision: Anna won the case. The family moves on with their lives, but every year on Kate’s birthday they go to Montana, which was her “most favorite place in the world.” At the end, Anna says that their relationship continues because she will see Kate again.
|Tagline:||A tale of life, love, and letting go.|
|Cast:||Abigail Breslin, Alec Baldwin, Cameron Diaz, Chris Kinkade, Emily Deschanel, Evan Ellingson, Frank Cassavetes, Frank Peluso, Heather Wahlquist, Jason Patric, Joan Cusack, Keith Kraft, Nicole Marie Lenz, Rick Salomon, Rico Simonini, Sofia Vassilieva|