“Fun” Friday: My movie review of “Gigi and Nate”

“Fun” Friday: My movie review of “Gigi and Nate.”

by: Debbie Waltz

If you’ve followed me long enough, you probably heard about my many adventures with my Goldendoodle, Holly Joy. You can read about how she came to be part of our family in some of my previous posts; it was a miracle how my mother and I found Gorgeous Goldendoodles and how everything worked out. But finding out that the family was also a Christian and worked in the ministry field was another blessing that we got to help by buying a puppy from them.

Still, it hasn’t gone exactly as planned. For starters, we got Holly Joy hoping she would become my assistance dog. Of course, it didn’t help that we got the dog in the middle of a pandemic, and she expects us to stay home all the time. Not only that, but we have had difficulty finding training facilities and slots that will accept her into a program. In the meantime, mom has done her best to train her at home. But she is a family dog; I use the term “family” loosely because she seems more attached to my dad than anyone else.

Anyway, why do I bring Holly up today? Well, I recently watched the film. “Gigi and Nate.” This movie is loosely based on the story of Ned Sullivan and his capuchin companion/helper Kasey. I couldn’t help but relate to the film because of my disability and the caregiving I need daily. Seeing how Nate and his parents battled just to live their lives was very inspirational and gave me peace that I’m not alone in my struggles. But imagine my surprise when I realize there are major plot lines not in the book but in the movie. Here are just a few of them.

  1. First, they changed Ned’s name to Nate and Kasey to “Gigi.”
  2. Ned does not get paralyzed by contracting meningitis. Instead, he gets injured in a car accident.
  3. Ned’s father is not in the picture. His mother got remarried.
  4. Protesters do not come to his family home, although the organization no longer trains monkeys due to the controversy.

There are many more inconsistencies in the movie, but I’d rather not focus on that now. Though I do not have an assistance animal, I believe we can train any animals for those needing help. They are not “slaves” but assist others in living entirely independent lives. Some animals need jobs that drain their high energy and make them feel important. It is a partnership bond that makes this all possible. I know for a fact my friends with assistance dogs don’t take it for granted. Not only do they love them as pets, but they sincerely appreciate the role they have in helping them live fully independent lives.

After watching the movie, it intrigued me to learn more about their story and followed up with Kasey To The Rescue: The Remarkable Story of a Monkey and A Miracle. I haven’t finished the book yet, but it surprised me to find so many errors in the movie. Maybe it was because they condensed the plot and story, but that takes a lot of the power out of it. Anyway, I’m now reading the actual book and maybe will post a review someday. But if you are interested in reading it for yourself; here’s the link:

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