Lucy and I have signed up for a cheap movies deal, and found ourselves out late watching Awake. When I were a lad this was a Jehovah’s Witness Magazine all about the horrors of blood transfusion but it’s now morphed into a full scale medical thriller about duff anaesthetists — Coma meets A matter of Life and Death, kind of thing. The wife and I enjoyed this movie rather more than most critics. There are major holes in plot and concept, but if you suspend your disbelief it’s a slick and surprisingly enjoyable ride.
Disbelief suspended? Right. Here’s the deal. At 23 you own half New York, but still live with your mum. You are secretly going out with her PA, sultry Sam. Mum gets a bit ratty when she finds out what you've been up to in the bath with Sam on Saturday afternoons. Mum’s best hugglebuddy just happens to be an ace heart surgeon, who’s poked about inside three presidents and is writing a textbook about the experience. How handy, because after all that hard graft building Daddy’s business empire, you could actually do with a heart transplant yourself. Now, your fishing hugglebuddy is Dr Jack who once saved your life after a heart attack. He’s your kind of guy. You’ve just eloped with sultry Sam (sorry, Mum) when, blow me down, a suitable heart for your very obscure blood type shows up, so you report to Dr Jack’s hospital to get it installed.
Hospitals in medical soaps are curious places. In Casualty’s Holby City, you have to prove you used to go out with a staff member or patient before the ambulance will take you there. Well Dr Jack’s hospital is a bit like that. Additionally, anaesthetists carry hip flasks, and malevolents with deadly hypodermics wander round the operating theatres like gypsy violinists in Hungarian restaurants.
You kiss Sam au revoir (or is it goodbye?), count back from 10 as commanded by Dypso-Anaesthetist Larry Lupin (honestly!), and lie back and think of the beach, or rather Sam. Slightly curiously, Sam, who had a nice pair of running shorts last Saturday bathtime can only manage a Marks and Spencers Cardie for your Jersey beach fantasy as you head for the land of Nod. But I digress. Thing is, Larry the Bottle is such a klutz that he hasn’t really put you out properly — just enough that you can’t let anyone know that he hasn’t really put you out properly. D’oh.
In your semi comatose state you begin to hear some inconvenient truths. Sam is in fact a bent nurse, who's been plotting with Dr Jack Death to dispossess you of your cash to pay all his old negligence claims (of which there are several, and at New York prices). Don’t say Mother didn’t warn you, that’s all. I don't feel guilty giving this much away, because the poster did. There are a couple more sharp twists, and a major redemption thing including how Daddy really died. Just take it from me, you really should have listened to Mother in the first place. She may be crabby, but she has a heart of gold — and that’s what you need at such times. The other major learning action point is that if ever you need a heart transplant, pick an Award winning Presidential heart surgeon rather than a homicidal maniac with a drink-sodden Anaesthetist. That way even if your wife is out to get you, you won’t be there when it happens.