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flick pick | Everything Put Together 2000
Directed by: Marc Forster
Written by: Catherine Lloyd Burns, Adam Forgash, Marc Forster
Starring: Radha Mitchell, Megan Mullally, Justin Louis, Catherine Lloyd Burns
Language: English
Watch it when you’re in the mood for something:
The critic says: ½/ 5 the rating system explained
Fun factor: /5

Plot synopsis Angie [Mitchell] and Russ [Louis] have a good life: great marriage, great friends, great big house with a great big yard in a picture-perfect upper-middle class suburban neighborhood. And with Angie pregnant and the couple expecting their first child, things couldn’t be more perfect. Angie spends her days getting the house ready for the new baby, and bonding with her fellow pregnant friends. When her closest friend goes into labor just after Angie says good-bye to her in the locker room of their gym, Angie hears her screams and rushes in to help get her to the hospital. Her friend gives birth with Angie holding her hand. Both mom and new baby are healthy, and the happy parents decide to ask Angie and Russ to be the child’s godparents, a hint of the good things to come. When Angie’s turn comes, things seem to go much more smoothly. She gives birth to a baby boy, with Russ right there by her side for support. Just hours later, however, the baby suddenly stops breathing and dies. The doctor calls it sudden infant death syndrome, tells the couple how sorry he is and that no one knows why it happens, just that it does, all too often. As Angie and Russ struggle with their loss, they suddenly find that they’re formerly wonderful friends are so afraid that bad luck might be contagious that they’ll go to great lengths to avoid the grieving couple.

Review I’m not normally a squeamish person when it comes to bodily ailments and medical talk, but sudden, inexplicable death in a human being that previously seemed just fine just freaks me out. And when the human being’s a newborn baby, whose arrival into the world has been anticipated with such joy and excitement and optimism on the part of the two people responsible for its life, it’s all the more heartbreaking. I just can’t imagine what it would be like to have carried this miraculous little being within you for nine months, gone through the unbelievable pain of labor, held a crying, screaming amazingly alive little baby in your arms – then have it all taken away from you for seemingly no reason at all. It’s almost too horrible to think about – which is why if you’re pregnant, or just plain hyper-sensitive, you may want to avoid this very painful, moving film that gives viewers a glimpse into what it might be like to lose a child to SIDS. It’s the sort of subject you could imagine appearing as some Lifetime special featuring some second-rate former TV star, and oozing melodrama out the wazoo. But with its eerie score, low-budget indie film look, and top-notch acting (Radha Mitchell, in particular, is scary-good as Angie – you never quite know whether she’s going to really go over the edge) Everything Put Together’s no made-for-TV, illness-of-the-week cryfest. Instead it’s an intriguing and very unsettling film about a deeply unsettling subject – hard to watch, because it’s near-impossible not to let it affect you. —reviewed by Y. Sun

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