I watched it again the other day (great film if you’ve never seen it) and it was never explained what Spencer’s disease is. Anybody know or would hazard a guess? Spencer is Helen Hunt’s character’s son.
For a moment there I thought you were talking about Nicholson’s character and I was going to rant. Well, I’ll rant anyway. The guy had OCD, bad, and it seemed it was centered on germs. If that’s true, someone was lazy. First, he’s obsessive about washing his hands, and he uses one Neutrogena bar per handwashing, he’s got a ton of them in his medicine cabinet. But Neutrogena isn’t an anti-bacterial soap. I know because that’s the exact same bar I use on my face. Second, you see him leaving his apartment building and he puts his hand out, flat on the glass, to open the door. No self-respecting germophobe would ever touch a door with his hand. I’m not a germophobe and I don’t even open doors with my hands, I use my skirt, or a scarf, or my coat or sweater or something.
Other than that buggy nitpik, I enjoyed it, especially Greg Kinnear’s character. I think he deserved an Academy Award before Helen Hunt, who I think robbed Judi Dench for Mrs. Brown. Not that it’s her fault. Most of the voters had probably never heard of Judi Dench at the time and probably hadn’t seen Mrs. Brown. Dench’s Shakespeare In Love Oscar was a make-up Oscar for losing out on a well-deserved Oscar to a TV actress. IMO, which isn’t worth much.
Spencer had asthma with frequent acute exacerbations, I believe. At least, that’s what wikipedia claims, and I don’t recall any symptoms which wouldn’t fit in that diagnosis.
That was my understanding having watched it. The issue wasn’t that they didn’t know what the problem was, it was that they were too poor to get decent medical treatment to make the condition easy to live with.
Actually this part was explained in the movie when they sat down with the doctor Udall sent: their HMO only covered certain things (like emergency room visits), seeing a regular doctor, getting allergy tests, etc. wasn’t covered.
Like I said, they were too poor. How else do you want to phrase “doesn’t have the kind of health cover that will allow you to live a normal life but which you could easily do if the cover was there”?