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At the beginning of Alexandra Codina's affectionate documentary "Monica & David," we're hit with a statistic that shows just how much life expectancy figures have increased for those with Down Syndrome in the last thirty years. As these individuals are more commonly living full lives, of course it is to be expected that they want to share in the same sort of successes and happiness as everyone else. To illustrate this point in a very personal way, Codina set about documenting a year in the life of her cousin Monica. Monica, a 35 year old with Down, is about to embark on a storybook wedding with her beloved David, who also has Down. The film chronicles the days leading up to the marriage until their one year anniversary. It's a heartfelt journey that is not without its struggles, but it is certainly a trip worth taking. If you've been affected by knowing someone with Down Syndrome, this is an easy recommendation--but it is also an enlightening piece that illustrates the commonality we all share.

That was my primary take-away from "Monica & David." Despite the developmental challenges they face, they want the same sort of normalcy that we all do. Although sheltered, they rise to any challenge placed before them and we see them learn to cook, work at jobs, and generally take care of themselves and each other. I was especially taken by the nature of their relationship, clearly loving but fraught with everyday frustrations as well. And the way they interact, joking and poking fun with one another, it's refreshingly open and demonstrative. Perhaps the biggest narrative aspect of the film is the family move. Monica and David live with her mother and stepfather and a relocation takes the couple away from everything and everyone they know and upsets their routine. And yet, they adapt.

"Monica & David" doesn't have particularly lofty goals. It just introduces us to a family that I, for one, was happy to spend time with. As the young couple struggle for independence, it's a constant negotiation with parents that have trouble letting go. Sometimes sweet, sometimes a bit sad, sometimes inspirational--"Monica & David" is a small film that might elicit big feelings from the viewers. As ambassadors (even accidentally) to the community of those with Down Syndrome, Codina has served up two unlikely and special role models. Joyous and sure to tug at your heartstrings, this is a lovely and well meaning documentary. At only 67 minutes, it still seems a fully rounded experience. KGHarris, 11/11.

Bonus features:
Deleted Scenes; Video entitled "Employment in the Community"
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on December 7, 2011
This is such an amazing documentary. Ali Codina did an excellent job of showing the ups and downs of Down Syndrome. This is an excellent film for parents of kids who have Down syndrome to watch. I was lucky enough to see it about a month after my son (who has Downs) was born; it gave me such a sense of relief and motivation. I was able to see that my son will have many of the same experiences that other adults have, and that his potential is high if I continue to work with him. Monica and David are an inspiration to me and my husband. Thank you!
0Comment| 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
At the beginning of Alexandra Codina's affectionate documentary "Monica & David," we're hit with a statistic that shows just how much life expectancy figures have increased for those with Down Syndrome in the last thirty years. As these individuals are more commonly living full lives, of course it is to be expected that they want to share in the same sort of successes and happiness as everyone else. To illustrate this point in a very personal way, Codina set about documenting a year in the life of her cousin Monica. Monica, a 35 year old with Down, is about to embark on a storybook wedding with her beloved David, who also has Down. The film chronicles the days leading up to the marriage until their one year anniversary. It's a heartfelt journey that is not without its struggles, but it is certainly a trip worth taking. If you've been affected by knowing someone with Down Syndrome, this is an easy recommendation--but it is also an enlightening piece that illustrates the commonality we all share.

That was my primary take-away from "Monica & David." Despite the developmental challenges they face, they want the same sort of normalcy that we all do. Although sheltered, they rise to any challenge placed before them and we see them learn to cook, work at jobs, and generally take care of themselves and each other. I was especially taken by the nature of their relationship, clearly loving but fraught with everyday frustrations as well. And the way they interact, joking and poking fun with one another, it's refreshingly open and demonstrative. Perhaps the biggest narrative aspect of the film is the family move. Monica and David live with her mother and stepfather and a relocation takes the couple away from everything and everyone they know and upsets their routine. And yet, they adapt.

"Monica & David" doesn't have particularly lofty goals. It just introduces us to a family that I, for one, was happy to spend time with. As the young couple struggle for independence, it's a constant negotiation with parents that have trouble letting go. Sometimes sweet, sometimes a bit sad, sometimes inspirational--"Monica & David" is a small film that might elicit big feelings from the viewers. As ambassadors (even accidentally) to the community of those with Down Syndrome, Codina has served up two unlikely and special role models. Joyous and sure to tug at your heartstrings, this is a lovely and well meaning documentary. At only 67 minutes, it still seems a fully rounded experience. KGHarris, 11/11.
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on May 4, 2013
I have worked with developmentaly disabled people in the past. They had someone that they always were in love with. This movie shows what happens when that love is put into effect. I enjoyed getting to know Monica and David and their remarkable parents. If everyone has 1/4 of the love David and Monica have for one another there would be no divorce. I wish them well.
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on December 1, 2013
Very well done and captured! This documentary has so many layers to it, beyond Monica and David having Downs and falling in love. A lot of life lessons on family, loyalty, unconditional love, strength and two amazing women/mothers.
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on March 6, 2012
Beautiful documentary on real issues. These two young people are being taken care of, but also taking care of one another. Their story is one of love, compassion, inspiration and hope. Walk away happy and inspired.
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on September 5, 2013
My oldest daughter told me about this film and told me I had to see it. SSSooooo glad I not only saw it, but bought it! This movie was wonderful on so many levels!! Monica and David - thank you so much for sharing your story with us!
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on December 16, 2012
A MUST SEE for anyone with a child with special needs or any person in the field of special needs. Very well made and motivational. I am a dad of a 17 year old son with special needs and even though my son is not as high functioning as Monica & David, and will not be experiencing the life that Monica & David have been allowed by their families, I came away from the film feeling uplifted and hopeful. I wish there were many more films like this. I am purchasing another DVD as a gift for another parent.
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on August 15, 2014
This is a must-see for high school students with moderate to profound disabilities. They are able to witness a couple with Downs Syndrome lead very normal lives with the guidance not enabling of their parents. Some mature content but as said, very applicable for kids with special needs.
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on June 10, 2016
EXCELLENT MOVIE!!! INSPIRING, TRUE STORY OF TWO PEOPLE IN LOVE, (AND THEIR SUPPORTIVE FAMILIES) WHO STRIKE A"HOME RUN" AT LIVING LIFE TO ITS FULLEST!!! INCREDIBLE STORY OF TWO PEOPLE OVERCOMING GREAT OBSTACLES AND SUCCEEDING!!!! BRING MORE LIKE THIS INCREDIBLE MOVIE!!!
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