Something for Joey (1977) Geraldine Page, Gerald S. O'Loughlin, Marc Singer, Steve Guttenberg Movie Review

Something for Joey (1977)   4/54/54/54/54/5

Marc Singer in Something for Joey (1977)

Inspirational Brothers

Joey Cappelletti (Jeff Lynas) looks like just an ordinary kid who loves playing sports and idolises his older brother John (Marc Singer) who is a star on the Penn State Football team. But Joey does have something special about him, he has had leukaemia since the age of 3 and when he was diagnosed his parents agreed that rather than just letting him die the doctors should do what ever they think will prolong his life, initially keeping this decision a secret from others in the family. For John watching how his little brother puts up with the pain, the hospital visits and relearning to walk after being in a coma inspires him.

Watching "Something for Joey" and reading what some people have written about this movie made me a little sad and I don't mean because it is based on a true story. What I mean is that some who watched this back in 1977 found this story of a family dealing with leukaemia and a brother being inspired by a child's bravery to be unique and touching yet watching it now it doesn't have quite that effect because movies about cancer and leukaemia are no longer a rarity. That of course is a good thing because bringing issues to light through film such as leukaemia helps to break down taboos and educate audiences but it does mean that the emotional power of older movies like "Something for Joey" is lessened because of that familiarity.

Jeff Lynas in Something for Joey (1977)

Anyway enough with me lamenting the changing face of cinema and return my focus to "Something for Joey" which is in truth a very simple movie which focuses on the Cappelletti family who work together when it comes to making life work for Joey who since the age of 3 had Leukaemia. We see how after a bout of chicken pox he ended up in a coma and whilst the doctors advised against it the family took him home and cared for him amongst themselves, helping him relearn everything when he finally comes out of his coma. But in particular we see the incredibly close bond there is between John and his brother Joey with them inspiring each other. And the thing is that whilst the power of "Something for Joey" has been lessened with every new movie about leukaemia trying to hit new heights of emotion there is something still touching about this personal tale and the bond between brothers.

What this all boils down to is that "Something for Joey" is still an incredibly touching and wholesome movie. But it is one whose emotional power has been lessened slightly with the passing of years and some new audiences might find its wholesome nature a little too wholesome with this portrayal of the perfect family working together.