Dr. Rico Simonini, a Cedars Sinai cardiologist since 2004, knows whereof he speaks and parallels both chosen professions as an aperitif to the main course that is the movie we have all come to behold: Frank and Ava. The latest rendition in an unforgettable exploration of the life, times, and love between Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner, this film in conjunction with the evening in question, is as heartfelt, and humorous as it is heartrending.
Opening with a presentation by the good doctor in Cedars Sinai’s Harvey Morse Theatre, both the lobby and the auditorium itself are overflowing with associate cast members, fellow physicians, devoted patients and a bunch of other random individuals who seem to think he is pretty damned cool: And in witnessing his pre-cinematic presentation, it is fairly evident as to the why of the aforementioned opiniondom:
“There are a lot of Italians in here. God forbid the FBI should find out,” he commences before getting into the heart of the matter. (Wordplay surprisingly not intentional when originally written.)
Charts and graphs are examined, observations are made, thoughts are provoked, laughter is experienced. Slides are shown commencing with Simonini’s primary point of inspiration: Rembrandt’s The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp encompassing a throng of doctors nearly all clad in black (as if in droll and direct counterpoint to contemporary white jackets and pastel scrubs) tentatively-to-pensively looking on as a head doctor appears to be impaling the inner workings of some poor patient’s (or corpse most probably’s) forearm in a manner that waxes gratuitously torturous rather than anything that would ever assist in fomenting any kind of effervescent health; up to and including the most abysmal case of carpal tunnel syndrome the world over–Gol-ly!