Review by Maahin

I sometimes wonder whether there are any stories out there we haven’t heard or seen already, because everything nowadays seems to be a book adaptation or a retelling of a different story. Now Is Good just happens to be both of those things. It has been adapted by writer/director Ol Parker from the book Before I Die, the plot of which is somewhat similar to films like Love Story and A Walk To Remember.

17 year old Tessa (Dakota Fanning) has leukaemia, and has recently decided to stop treatment, and just live the life she has left to its fullest. To do so, she makes a list of all the things she wants to do before she dies, such as take drugs, break the law, and have sex. However the one thing not on her list ends up happening – she falls in love with the boy next door, Adam (Jeremy Irvine).

The story of young love between a boy and a sick girl has been done before, and done well. I don’t know much at all about the source material, so I can’t comment on the author’s intentions but as a film, we didn’t need the moody British teenager version of it. I’m not saying its a bad film, actually it’s quite decent and well directed, but it’s not filling any void. It was Ol Parker’s decision to set it in Brighton (the book, apparently isn’t specific about where it is set), and it makes for a lovely setting.

Dakota Fanning has a British accent in this. It starts out sounding a bit odd, and it doesn’t get better. Everyone else in the film is British and has natural sounding accents, though not as if they were actually from Brighton. I dont know if her accent distracted me, or was too much effort for her, but it effected her performance for me. Dying characters tend to get some sympathy from me (and often tears), but Tessa didn’t get to me in that way. Paddy Considine as her father did, and he’s the only one I managed to feel bad for. He’s the cancer-obsessed parent, constantly looking for something that might cure her, or help her, but there isn’t an answer. Olivia Williams plays her mother, and as a parent is the complete opposite, which as its own character works, but the contrast between the two parents comes across a bit contrived.

There’s nothing I can really say that I disliked about Now Is Good, but there isn’t much I can recommend about it either, apart from Considine and Irvine’s performances. But even the character of Adam, it seemed to perfect for the perfect boy to be just next door. This may sound a bit cynical, but it’s like watching someone’s fantasy of life if they have cancer. It works out all a little too well. I can’t really give anyone a reason to pick seeing Now Is Good over something else.

Source: Blogomatic


2 thoughts on “Review by Maahin

  1. I imagine you must be disappointed by many movies as your expectations seem to be quite unrealistic – ironically.
    When you refer to the relationship of the boy and girl next door, of course it isn’t real life, or what you may call believable, but is ANY movie that realistic? Isn’t that the whole point of movies? Escapism, romance – sometimes – and excitement?
    People like you need to learn to remove your critic bonnet and just enjoy a movie for what it is: unrealistic, but enjoyable, drama.

  2. I watched the film last night and thought it was excellent. As someone whose wife died at early age of cancer it obviously struck some cords with me and some of the scenes at the end were very close to the emotional bone but I can relate to the dfferent views of the parents – I have seen such variety in emotions. At the end of the film the girls realisation that she wasn’t the only one affected by this and that the difficulty for those left behind is not in remembering the dead but in forgetting enough to be able to move on was very true to life. What for me made the film was the humour – to have watched the film simply to see the emotional turmoil leading to an inevitable conclusion would have been difficult but the humour – some “contrived” and some very true to life for me added value to the film.

    I think this was one of the best films I have seen for a long time – it is rare to come across a film in which one becomes emotionally invested and even if I did not have first time experience of this I would have bought into it. Compared with some big budget trash such as “My sister’s keeper” where frankly I disliked all the characters, here I felt for each even if the choice of actors in part could have been better and even if you believe that a nine year old could be quite as insensitive as the brother here (though this was I think for comic effect).

    It was not the greatest film ever but I enjoyed it, my teenage son enjoyed and I know my older daughter and her frioend’s will enjoy it as the right of passage her though tragic is more real than Twilight and similar vampire lustfests and I would urge anyone to go form their own opinion.

    For me it touched my heart, reached in and tweaked some raw nerves but it also was entertaining and thought provoking and I commend it for that.

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