Have You Heard About Greg? Image

Directed and produced by Steve Ecclesine, Have You Heard About Greg? is about the titular Greg O’Brien, who has Alzheimer’s. Ever since being diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s, the generally good-natured and humorous man has made it his mission to destigmatize the disease. To that end, he wrote a book, On Pluto, and has been an outspoken advocate in political circles.

O’Brien, who co-produced and wrote the documentary, isn’t alone in this fight. His wife and children are interviewed, along with medical specialists, other people suffering, and even his pastor. These people emphasize the statistics, discuss advancements, and stress how difficult it gets for the caregivers of those suffering.

“…the generally good-natured and humorous man has made it his mission to destigmatize the disease.”

While Have You Heard About Greg? is just a talking-heads documentary, that is not a complaint in this case. O’Brien is such a fun, and enjoyable presence that just hearing him talk and go on and on is a pleasant experience. Plus, the other interviewees offer great depth and/or insight into a little detailed and often misunderstood problem. The film is worth it just for educational purposes alone.

Happily, there’s more to this than just education, though that is its primary purpose. Getting to understand how good moments versus the bad fundamentally change one’s personality from second to second is intense and illuminating. Hearing O’Brien’s son discuss how he wishes his wife could’ve met his father before the Alzheimer’s set in is heartbreaking and sweet.

Have You Heard About Greg? is an engaging, educational, and ultimately uplifting production. The subjects are fascinating, and the interviews offer great insight into living with the disease or taking care of someone with it. While it lacks a distinct style, its message shines brightly throughout the entire 87-minute runtime.

Have You Heard About Greg? (2021)

Directed: Steve Ecclesine

Written: Greg O'Brien

Starring: Greg O'Brien, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

Have You Heard About Greg? Image

"…engaging, educational, and ultimately uplifting..."

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