Tessa (Dakota Fanning) makes a list of things she wants to do before she succumbs to cancer. Then she falls for her neighbour’s son, Adam (Jeremy Irvine.)
This film manages to be sweet enough without being overly saccharine and overbearing. Of course, it treads a familiar path in its storytelling – girl has cancer, girl falls in love, faces parental opposition. You get the general gist.
Tessa was presented as a girl wanting to give up chemo because it was just delaying the inevitable. She also has a ready, biting wit which is a good foil for her condition. She is not ready to give up on life, despite the grim prognosis when she decides to halt her chemo. This leads her doing risky things – shoplifting, recreational drugs, etc.
The obligatory man candy in the film comes in the guise of Jeremy Irvine as Adam, who lives next door to Tessa. They fall in love, and there is of course , parental interference as Tessa’s father doesn’t want Adam to destroy what short life Tessa has left. Irvine was really great in the role and did it with subtlety which made him somehow a step above the traditional narrative hero in such a story.
The soundtrack was really good too, which really added to the mood of the film. A bit of a weepy, but it’s really all about the family bonds in times of crisis. Tessa’s friend Zoey’s baby proved a moving antithesis to Tessa’s death at the end of the film.
MY RATING: **** / *****