Picks and Pans Review: Leap of Faith
updated 10/10/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 10/10/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT
I don't so much dislike this movie as I disagree with it and disapprove of it. The stars—Anne Archer and Sam Neill—are top-drawer, and the production looks neat and slick. But behind this pretty picture is a dangerous intellectual laziness. Archer plays a woman who comes down with lymphoma, a form of cancer that doctors tell her is incurable and will kill her in seven to 10 years. Speaking in earnest platitudes—"I just want to live!...We're gonna lick this thing!"—Archer submits to acupuncture, meditation, visualization, macrobiotic diets and psychology. She sits on grass and listens to doctors who make nouveau-profound understatements like "What you've got with your disease is one more unwanted experience." About two years after her diagnosis, she sees her lymphoma retreat. Leap of Faith is based on one woman's true story. And this is, without doubt, a story of tremendous dedication. What happened to this woman is important. It deserves scientific study. It deserves responsible investigation. If it's going to be on television, let it be on a news show—or even on an episode of Donahue. Instead, Donahue's wife, executive producer Marlo Thomas, gives us nothing but new-age televangelism filled with hot-tub cultspeak about "getting in touch with your immune system" and "access to your inner self." CBS should know better.