Filmed over a span of five years, So Much So Fast is a brilliant documentary that profiles Stephen Heywood—who, at age 29, was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease), a neurological disorder that causes paralysis. Referred to as an "orphan disease"—the sort of ailment ignored by pharmaceutical companies because of a lack of profit potential in finding a cure—ALS is a grim diagnosis. But that does not stop Heywood and his family from attempting to do what has yet to be done: They set out to beat ALS. With the clock ticking, Stephen refuses to give in to the disease. He marries his girlfriend and they decide to start a family before ALS robs him of his mobility. Meanwhile, Stephen's brother Jamie, with no medical or scientific experience, starts a research center to find a treatment that will prolong his brother's life.
Produced by Stephen Ascher and Jeannie Jordan (whose mother died of ALS), So Much So Fast is a film of profound human emotion. This is not a tragic disease-of-the-week movie. Rather, it is a stunning portrait filled with all the raw feelings that are a part of life, from pain and sorrow to joy and laughter.
Hollywood Theatre. 2 pm Saturday, Feb. 24. This screening is being hosted by the ALS Division of the Muscular Dystrophy Association to raise both public awareness and funding to find a cure. A wine reception and discussion will follow the screening.