In Love With Cancer: Netflix Portrayals of the Cancer Experience

Rayna Morel, Colby Miyose


Cancer is a common cause of death in the United States. With such prevalence, it is not surprising that the cancer experience is the focus of many films over the years. Cancer is depicted both in mainstream feature films as well as other venues of viewership including online platforms (i.e. Netflix). Little research has explored the representation of the cancer experience in these mediums. This paper seeks to conceptualize trends in depicting the cancer experience from available films on the popular streaming service, Netflix, via textual analysis. Three films that we analyzed are, Then Came You (2019), Irreplaceable You (2018), and Her Only Choice (2018), which all belong to the comedy/drama genre. Three themes emerged including stigmatized sympathy and disgust, caretaking and domesticity, and cancer mantras of “live like you are dying” versus “fight to live.” While these types of films may bring awareness or hope to a prevalent health condition, the problem of romanticizing cancer remains.


cancer; critical/cultural studies; textual analysis; film studies

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Her Only Choice.2018. Directed by Christel Gibson. Netflix. Foxtrout Studios. Film.

Irreplaceable You. 2018. Directed by Stephanie Laing. Netflix. Rocliffe Ltd. Film.

Then Came You. 2018. Directed by Peter Hutchings. Netflix. BCDF Pictures. Film.

Data publikacji: 2022-12-28 15:00:05
Data złożenia artykułu: 2022-01-08 02:13:50


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