My Sister’s Keeper parents guide

My Sister’s Keeper Parent Guide

Like many emotionally charged stories, "My Sister's Keeper" has plenty of moments calculated to elicit tears. Yet there are strong elements of truth portrayed as characters face uncertainty.

Overall B

All of Anna Fitzgerald's (Abigail Breslin) life has been lived in the shadow of her older sister Kate (Sofia Vasilieva). At first, Anna believed that was because of Kate's cancer. But when she discovers she was genetically engineered from birth to be a compatible donor for her sibling, Anna rebels. Hiring a lawyer (Alex Baldwin) she sues her parents (Cameron Diaz and Jason Patric) for the rights to her own body.

Release date June 26, 2009

Violence C+
Sexual Content C+
Profanity D+
Substance Use C-

Why is My Sister’s Keeper rated PG-13? The MPAA rated My Sister’s Keeper PG-13 for mature thematic content, some disturbing images, sensuality, language and brief teen drinking.

Run Time: 109 minutes

Official Movie Site

Parent Movie Review

I once heard a mother say that although she loved all her children she loved best the one who needed her at the moment. At the time it seemed like a strange statement but after watching My Sister’s Keeper, I began to understand those sentiments a little better.

With a similar theme to the sci-fi film The Island, My Sister’s Keeper deals with the ethical issues involved in extending life. However, unlike the earlier thriller where human clones all wore matching jumpsuits and lived in a highly controlled facility until their "owners" needed to harvest their body parts, the family in this film could easily live next door or just down the street.

Since Kate Fitzgerald (Sofia Vassilieva) was diagnosed with leukemia, her mother Sara (Cameron Diaz) gave up a promising legal career to stay home and care for her daughter full-time. Sara and her husband Brian (Jason Patric) also took a bold step and gave birth to a "designer baby" who’s DNA was medically manipulated in order to ensure she was a perfect donor match for the ailing sister.

From the day she arrived, Anna (Abigail Breslin) has been subjected to a battery of medical procedures in which blood and bone marrow have been culled to prolong her sister’s life. Now a young teen, Kate’s condition is worsening and she needs a kidney transplant. But 11-year-old Anna throws the family a curve ball when she refuses to donate one of hers. She also hires a pompous city lawyer (Alec Baldwin) to help her sue her parents for control of her own body.

Unfortunately, the court case isn’t the only trouble the Fitzgerald family is facing. Sara’s desire to be an unwavering advocate for her oldest daughter has become an obsession and caused a rift in her marriage. Her son, Jesse (Evan Ellingson), and her sister (Heather Wahlquist ) feel the brunt of her neglect as well. As Kate’s health deteriorates, the tensions between family members erupt more frequently and violently.

Like many emotionally charged stories, My Sister’s Keeper has plenty of moments calculated to elicit tears. Yet there are also strong elements of truth portrayed as the Fitzgeralds face an uncertain future. While language, subject matter and Anna’s frank revelation of how and why she was conceived make this film unsuitable for most younger viewers, the story raises some important discussion points for older teens and adults about the legal and moral issues surrounding the use of donors—especially ones designed solely for that purpose.

Starring Cameron Diaz, Abigail Breslin, Alec Baldwin. Running time: 109 minutes. Theatrical release June 26, 2009. Updated

My Sister’s Keeper
Rating & Content Info

Why is My Sister’s Keeper rated PG-13? My Sister’s Keeper is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for mature thematic content, some disturbing images, sensuality, language and brief teen drinking.

With much of this movie set in a hospital, there are numerous depictions of medical procedures, sick patients and death. Patients bleed profusely, vomit and lose control of bodily functions. A patient appears to drink urine. One character experiences a seizure. Several comments are made about sperm, conception, birth control and in vitro fertilization. An adult slaps a child. Family members quarrel, sometimes violently. A woman attacks a man. He pushes her. There is brief discussion about a child who was killed by a drunk driver. A teen couple kisses passionately and is shown in bed together after having sex. A bare back is shown. Several sexually suggestive comments are made. A character sits uncomfortably close to the edge of a ledge several stories off the ground. Characters drink with dinner. A teen character drinks and ingests prescription pills in an apparent suicide attempt. The script includes frequent profanities, terms of Deity, and an extreme sexual expletive.

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More parents' guide for My Sister’s Keeper after the break...

My Sister’s Keeper Parents' Guide

How is this family impacted by Katie’s illness? What kind of pressure does it put on her siblings? Why are children often forced to grow up sooner in challenging situations?

What dilemmas do Judge De Salvo (Joan Cusack) and Dr. Chance (David Thornton) face as they deal with the Fitzgerald family?

How does Kate respond to her diagnosis?

Home Video

The most recent home video release of My Sister’s Keeper movie is November 17, 2009. Here are some details…

Release Date: 17 November 2009

My Sister’s Keeper on DVD offers copies of the movie in both widescreen and full-screen presentations. Audio tracks are available in Dolby Digital 5.1 (English). The disc also includes over fifteen minutes of additional scenes.

My Sister’s Keeper on Blu-ray is presented in1080p HD resolution. The package includes:

- Digital copy of the movie.

- Featurettes: Behind-the-Scenes and From Picoult to Screen.

- Additional Scenes (approximately 15 minutes).

Related home video titles:

Abigail Breslin plays the part of a young cancer patient in the movie The Ultimate Gift. Another couple determines to do what ever it will take to save their terminally ill son in Lorenzo’s Oil.