I recently had the pleasure of watching the film about Renee Yohe's inspiring journey that sparked the To Write Love On Her Arms movement and organization. I had long been wondering if a film would ever be made about Renee and how the organization started, so I was happy and excited when I saw that it was finally being released - on DVD at least.
The film centers around Renee's (Kat Dennings) struggle with bipolar disorder, recovering from the trauma of sexual assault, drugs, alcohol, and self-injury. In 2006, desperate to get better, Renee tried entering rehab with the help of David McKenna (Rupert Friend) as well as her two best friends from high school. However, she was turned away because she still had drugs in her system. (They didn't do detoxing, just rehabilitation, so she was told to come back in 5 days, once her system was clear of drugs.)
As a result, David offers to let Renee and her two best friends stay at his house for the next 5 days while she detoxes. That's when her life changes. David's roommate, Jamie Tworkowski (Chad Michael Murray), ends up writing a story about Renne's journey and publishes it on his MySpace page. It receives feedback from thousands and thousands of people commenting with their own stories. Thus, To Write Love On Her Arms was born.
The story is beyond inspiring and moving, and it will definitely have you in tears more than once. I don't know why it was never released in theaters. It should be. But it was shown at film festivals and is at least on DVD and Digital HD. I'll definitely be buying it.
I will warn you, it does contain some mature content and may be triggering if you've ever struggled with self-injury or addiction (or currently do). But if you want to watch an inspirational film about the power of love and support and how strength often comes from hardship, then this is the film to watch.
Here's the trailer: