Irreplaceable You (2018)

When it comes to series, Netflix does so damn good (most of the series I still watch indeed are Netflix originals). When it comes to movies, however, it's different. There are some pretty good ones (Okja and The Meyerowitz Stories New and Selected, to mention a few) and some awful (Bright) and/or disappointing (The Cloverfield Paradox). Irreplaceable You isn't one of the first, but fortunately, it isn't one of the latter either. It's just another average romantic film. 

Abbie (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) and Sam (Michiel Huisman) have been together since she bit him on a childhood trip to the aquarium. When Abbie gets pregnant, they make their engagement official and start planning the wedding, but it turns out Abbie isn't pregnant, she instead has three masses in her pelvis and is later diagnosed with terminal cancer. As a way of coping, Abbie beings a search for a woman to take care of Sam when she is gone. 

Though dying people planning ahead isn't new to movies --just think of the tremendously moving P.S. I Love You--, the plot feels unique and fresh and, even though you already know how it's going to end, it's quite interesting and throughout engaging. That being said, it also has all the romantic film clichés one can think of and there's way too much going on.

The real problem though is that director Stephanie Laing probably wasn't sure about what kind of movie to make. As a result, the tone is all wrong. For half of its running time, Irreplaceable You feels like an upbeat romantic comedy. She is dying but it doesn't feel like it. Then the film shifts to a more serious, dramatic tone which is the one the story needs, but the transition isn't handled well at all and it all feels so awkward and weird.

The characters aren't that good either, especially Sam who is not even a character. We know absolutely nothing about him and therefore it's impossible to care about him, and there's nothing Michiel Huisman can do to change that. Gugu Mbatha-Raw, on the other hand, for the second time this year shows off her acting abilities playing a rather thin character amazingly: she delivers all of Abbie's emotions very well and makes you care about the character. 

The supporting characters are pretty much pointless and one-dimensional. They are probably in the film because it would have been too much work making a movie with only two people. That said, they each have their own thing and you remember that. It's a whole different story with Myron, one of the terminally ill people Abbie meets at a support group, and once again the credits go to the actor playing him, Christopher Walken whose bittersweet irony is the only effective humour in the film.

Emotionally speaking, Irreplaceable You isn't as powerful as P.S. I Love You or The Fault in Our Stars or A Walk to Remember, but it still is touching. 

No comments :

Post a Comment