What You Need To Know:
(Ro, PC, LLL, VV, AB, M) A Romantic worldview with a positive though politically correct message; 30 obscenities & 16 vulgarities; mother slaps son several times, men threaten to hurt boys, boy deliberately cuts his hand with knife, & woman slams another woman up against wall; anti-Christian reference; and, theft & cigarette smoking.
In THE CURE, a fantasy-obsessed young teenager befriends an AIDS infected boy who lives next door. The boys become friends and try to find a cure for the disease, taking them on a series of amazing adventures. Reality, though, provides a grown-up lesson. Erik “knows” his new neighbor before he ever meets him. The entire Minnesota town is aware that an “AIDS boy” has moved in, and Erik’s classmates tease him about “girlfriend.” However, when Erik confronts Dexter through the fence separating their backyards, he is won over by the boy’s candor, his mud fort in progress and the knowledge that his disease is not airborne. Erik commits himself as Dexter’s personal caretaker, defending him against bullies and trying to find the right medicine to cure his disease.
While THE CURE is quite moving, with a delightful performance by young Brad Renfro, and deftly handles a difficult subject, the movie is marred by foul language, an ambivalence in light of facing death (Erik’s grandmother believes Dexter will burn in hell; Dexter says his doctor does not know where people go when they die; and, the boys do not know either), and characters too-broadly drawn. The movie is too adult for children though the film seems directed toward youngsters.