HDNet Films and Magnolia Pictures present Quid Pro Quo, a new drama by writer/director Carlos Brooks.
Of the few people to whom I've briefly described Quid Pro Quo, more than a few have looked at me like I have three heads. The premise is as bizarre as it sounds, but it's not really bizarre at all when you consider there are 6.5 billion people on this planet with about as many different personality quirks, and some are shared by only a few people. Like Fiona (Vera Farmiga) and a few other New Yorkers, who wish they were wheelchair-bound paraplegics or amputees. In fact, they don't just wish - they actually see it through, bribing doctors to cut off good legs or paying...uh...less educated practitioners to paralyze them in any squirm-inducing variety of ways. This disorder exists. Isaac Knott (Nick Stahl), an actual paraplegic since age 8, is a public radio reporter who's tasked with producing a story about this subculture.
At the screening I attended, producer Sarah Pillsbury (yes, of Dough Boy fame, they're a local royal family) spoke on behalf of first-time writer and director Carlos Brooks. She said Brooks' original idea for the film evolved after he became familiar with "body integrity identity disorder" and researched it on his own to see if it actually existed (it has since then been the subject of Whole, a documentary by Minnesotan Melody Gilbert that will be included on the Quid Pro Quo DVD). Vera Farmiga (The Departed, Breaking and Entering) blew away the audition field and Nick Stahl (Terminator 3, Bully) was brought on board when Jeremy Sisto became unavailable for the film.
Don't spend too long deciding whether to see Quid Pro Quo. Either ignore it completely or make the decision to go and just go. I recommend that you do, and I recommend that you enter full blackout mode beforehand. No trailer, no reviews, no synopsis. If you've already seen the trailer, well that's fine, it's actually completely misleading. Just don't go rooting around for more info. All you need to know (and more, actually) I've already told you. Yes, it's provocative and yes, some people could take offense, but it is not graphic or gruesome. Go watch Saw if you're into that kind of thing (clearly I'm not, so I don't even know if that happens in Saw, but anyway...).
Quid Pro Quo will be seeing a limited release on June 13th, but according to Pillsbury it's already On Demand in several hotel chains (weird, but it's distributed by HDNet Films, so it's Mark Cuban, so if you know anything about him, well there you go), so check it out if you're the travelin' type. Otherwise come back (after you've seen it) for my full review when Quid Pro Quo opens to a wider release, possibly at the end of the month.