I’ve always wanted to know more about the late Dr. John Sarno and his psychological practice ever since Howard Stern praised him for getting rid of his severe back pain. Other celebrities who endorse Sarno include Curb Your Enthusiasm’s Larry David, former 20/20 reporter John Stossel, and Bored to Death creator Jonathan Ames.
All the Rage, a crowdfunded documentary and a personal project for all three of its directors, does a great job of explaining Sarno’s history, his affect on patients, and his feelings towards others who don’t take his theories seriously. No matter how often showbiz personalities and regular patients support Sarno after countless clarifications of the evident connections between bodily strife and emotional hindrance, the doctor is still challenged by skeptics. Sarno is aware of the cut-and-dry nature of a diagnoses, but he can usually find a way legitimately link the medical advice (such as herniated discs and other inner abnormalities) to TMS (tension myoneural syndrome), which can usually be cured through psychotherapy and exercise.
As mentioned, All the Rage has been made by filmmakers who have admiration and respect for John Sarno – Michael Galinsky, his wife Suki Hawley, and friend David Beilinson. Having used Sarno’s advice after experiencing agonizing bodily pain himself, Galinsky uses his personal experience to make this a humbling cinematic dedication to his doctor who recognized the documentarian’s stress. But, surprisingly, Galinsky decides to make his documentary a semi-autobiographical recount of his life – a decision that gives the film deeper emotion but also occasional interruptions to the project’s focus and flow.
All the Rage finds its own identity through well-executed animation, interviews, and montages, but the well-meaning intention goes astray whenever Sarno isn’t in the spotlight.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie