Her sister, Anna Abigail Breslin , has donated blood, bone marrow and stem cells, and now is being told she must donate one of her kidneys.
It dismays her to know she was conceived as an organ bank, and she wants her chance at a normal life without round trips to the operating room. Her dad, Brian Jason Patric , is a fire chief. Her older brother, Jesse Evan Ellingson , is a good student, but feels ignored. Anna and Kate love each other dearly. Like some successful attorneys, she also wants to win every case in her private life. Anna goes to an attorney who boasts a 90 percent success rate in his TV ads.
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This is the polished Campbell Alexander Alec Baldwin , who drives a Bentley convertible and is known for bringing his dog into courtrooms. This is far under his fee, but he listens and accepts the case. The mother is appalled by the lawsuit. Keeping her daughter alive has been a triumph for her all of these years. The father is shocked, too, but calmer and more objective. She has her own life to live, and her own love to demand. Cameron Diaz has the greatest challenge because her determination is so fierce, but she makes her love evident — more for Kate, it must be said, than for Anna and Jesse.
Jason Patric too rarely gets sympathetic roles, and embodies thoughtfulness and tenderness here. The young actors never step wrong.
Nicely nuanced, too, is Alec Baldwin as the hot-shot attorney. He also has a sense of humor; in several supporting roles recently, He has stepped in with lines enriched by unexpected flashes of wit. Kate, her sister, is in the end stages of kidney failure, and Anna wants to file the lawsuit so she will not have to donate a kidney to Kate.
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Campbell, who has a service dog but gives a sarcastic explanation whenever someone asks why, agrees to represent Anna for free. When Julia goes to see Campbell, it becomes clear they have a romantic past and have not seen each other in many years. Throughout all of these events, Jesse has been setting different abandoned buildings on fire. Jesse acts like a delinquent in other ways as well, such as drinking alcohol excessively, but much of this behavior stems from anger over his inability to save Kate and his feelings of being ignored by his parents.
Kate becomes seriously ill and must be hospitalized. Chance says she will die within a week. Anna refuses to change her mind about the lawsuit, however.
At the hearing, Sara decides she will represent herself and Brian. Consequently, Brian takes Anna to stay with him at the fire station to give Anna some distance from her mother.
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Meanwhile, through flashbacks Campbell and Julia alternately recall scenes from their high-school relationship. They both attend a prep school populated by children from wealthy families. Julia feels and acts like the outsider, and Campbell falls in love with her despite the reservations of his friends and parents.
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Their relationship ends abruptly, however, when Campbell breaks it off without explanation. In the present, Campbell and Julia initially bicker with each other, but they end up sleeping together the night before the trial begins. Reluctantly, Anna takes the stand and admits that she filed the lawsuit because Kate told her to.
At the very moment she makes this announcement, Campbell has an epileptic seizure and collapses.
When his seizure ends, he admits he has been having seizures ever since a car accident in high school. He also explains that the seizures are the reason he has a service dog, which can tell when another seizure is coming on. Julia and Campbell reconcile. Back on the stand, Anna explains that Kate asked Anna not to donate her kidney because she was tired of being sick and waiting to die. Anna also admits that while she loves her sister, part of her wanted Kate to die, too, so that she could have more freedom with her life.
Judge DeSalvo decides to grant Anna medical emancipation and gives Campbell medical power of attorney over her. On the way to the hospital, Campbell and Anna get into a serious car accident.