Does the Movie “Identity Thief” Make Fun of Fibromyalgia?

Karen Lee Richards Health Guide
  • It was recently brought to my attention that fibromyalgia plays a role in the movie Identity Thief starring Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy. The question is – does the movie ridicule the diagnosis and demean people who have it or is it used appropriately as a legitimate part of the storyline? I haven't seen the movie yet so I'll have to reserve judgement.


    The movie is described as a “feel-good comedy.” As I understand it, Melissa McCarthy plays an identity thief who steals Jason Bateman's identity. Bateman then sets out to find her and bring her to justice so he can reclaim his life. Apparently, one of the many tricks McCarthy uses to manipulate people and get herself out of jams is to claim to have fibromyalgia.

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    As far as fibromyalgia being part of the story, I can see how it could go either way. Criminals have been known to pretend to have various diseases in order to scam people. If FM is viewed as a legitimate illness that McCarthy's character is faking, I wouldn't have a problem with it. On the other hand, if the movie insinuates that FM is not a real illness and that's what makes it funny, I would have a big problem with it.


    Have you seen Identify Thief? If so, please share your thoughts on how fibromyalgia was handled in the movie. Would you recommend that other people with FM see the movie or should the FM community boycott it?


Published On: March 19, 2013