On Wednesday, Variety reported that funnyman Will Ferrell is attached to star in and produce the upcoming comedy film Reagan, a fictional tale which satirizes the late President Ronald Reagan’s tragic battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
The film’s plot reportedly centers on a young aide who must convince a confused President Reagan that he is an actor playing the president in a movie.
Of course, President Reagan was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 1994, five years after he left office, and battled the effects of the disease for roughly a decade until his death in 2004. The fact that the film focuses on the late President’s mental health appears to be yet another attempt to discredit, smear and belittle his achievements as one of the greatest presidents in American history.
Maybe Ferrell and his Gary Sanchez Productions — the company behind such sharp satirical films as Step Brothers, Daddy’s Home and Get Hard — will handle the story of the President’s illness with deference and grace.
Then again, the film’s been described as a “hilarious political satire.”
In the wake of the film’s announcement, we’ve compiled a list of ten symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease that Will Ferrell must find “hilarious.”
Mild Alzheimer’s Disease:
- Trouble handling money and paying bills
- Taking longer to complete normal daily tasks
- Personality and behavior changes
Moderate Alzheimer’s Disease
- Increased memory loss and confusion
- Problems recognizing family and friends
- Inability to learn new things
- Hallucinations, delusions and paranoia
Severe Alzheimer’s Disease
- Inability to communicate
- Skin Infections
On Thursday, President Reagan’s daughter Patti Davis penned a moving open letter challenging Ferrell to show how Alzheimer’s disease is humorous.
“I watched as fear invaded my father’s eyes — this man who was never afraid of anything,” Davis wrote. “I heard his voice tremble as he stood in the living room and said, ‘I don’t know where I am.’ I watched helplessly as he reached for memories, for words, that were suddenly out of reach and moving farther away. For ten long years he drifted — past the memories that marked his life, past all that was familiar…and mercifully, finally past the fear. There was laughter in those years, but there was never humor.”