I recently watched this biographical drama based on the true-life story of Matt and Nicole Teague and their best friend Dane Faucheux. Nicole is diagnosed with ovarian cancer. The treatments do not work. As Nicole’s cancer worsens, Matt struggles to care for her and their kids. Their long term friend, Dane, offers to move in. He becomes the support for the kids. He cares for Nicole even at the most difficult moments, never stepping away. More than once he picks Matt up in moments of despair, sometimes literally picking him up off the floor.
This movie about the real lived experiences of people is not entertainment. Instead it is one of those movies that sticks with you and will be with you in your own moments of trial. My mother-in-law died of ovarian cancer, and some of the details of Nicole’s experience were painfully familiar. In an article in Esquire, Matt wrote that no one talks about how death really is. This story, courageously told and shared, sheds light for others on the same journey.
One of the most remarkable things about the movie is how it demonstrates the depth of true committed friendship. No one would doubt that the friendship between Dane and Matt and Nicole is as true, as profound, and as strong as the marital love between Dane and Nicole. How refreshing it is to have a (true!) story about friendship that does not pit it against marriage. Although Dane asked Nicole out before he knew she was married, there were otherwise no hints of romantic interest involving Dane and the couple. His friendship with the couple did not destabilize the marriage. Rather, Dane carried the family during their darkest hour, picking them up off the ground and holding them together.
Another remarkable thing about Dane is his complete dedication to being a caregiver. In the movie, more than once he was belittled for his unambitious job and his willingness to drop everything and move in with his friends in need. Our society is in desperate need of more people like Dane.