Molly (film)

Molly (film)

Molly is a 1999 romantic comedy-drama film about an autistic woman who came into the custody of her neurotic executive brother. The film was directed by John Duigan and written by Dick Christie, and stars Elisabeth Shue, Aaron Eckhart, and Jill Hennessy.


Elisabeth Shue plays the title character, Molly McKay, a profoundly autistic twenty-eight year old woman who has lived in an institution from a young age following her parents' death in a car accident. When the institution must close due to budget cuts, Molly is left in the charge of her neurotypical older brother, Buck McKay (played by Aaron Eckhart), an advertising executive and perennial bachelor. Molly, who verbalizes very little and is obsessed with lining up her shoes in neat rows, throws Buck's life into a tailspin as she runs off her nurses and barges into a meeting at Buck's agency naked. When Buck consults Molly's neurologist, Susan Brookes (played by Jill Hennessy) suggests an experimental surgery in which healthy brain cells are harvested from a donor and implanted into Molly's brain. While Buck initially balks at the suggestion, he finally consents to the surgery and Molly makes a miraculous "recovery" from her autism when she begins to speak fluidly and interact with others in a "normal" way. Buck begins taking Molly to social events, like a production of Romeo and Juliet, a baseball game, and expensive dinners. However, after a few months, Molly's brain begins to reject the transplanted cells and she begins to "digress" into her former autistic state. Both Molly and Buck must accept the eventual loss of Molly's "cure" and her regression to her previous autistic state. While Buck initially rejects Molly and sends her to another institution, in the final scene of the film, Buck accepts Molly's autism and vows to remain in Molly's life by creating a room for her at his home that looks just like the room she had at the instituition.

Base story and facts

The story was based on a novel titled Flowers for Algernon which involved a mentally challenged man who was treated with a similar surgery and his intelligence rocketed until he became a "genius", but he soon regressed. Molly's disorder resemble some of the symptoms of what will possibly be Semantic Pragmatic Disorder or dyssemia.

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