I wanted to watch this film ever since it was released in cinemas but never got around it. When I heard the premise, it just made me think of films such as Fault In Our Stars and most films of that ilk due to the florid tear-drenched ad campaign.
To begin with, this looks to be nothing more than the typical high school movie equipped with the laconic, monotone voice over. The wit sparkles even in the darkest of places and the humour is very understated. This makes it all the more watchable.
The nod to Greg and Earl’s film fascination was quite a fun and central element of the film. Also, spotting which films they parodied is always a lot of fun for those among us who consider ourselves to be film boffins.
What I love most about this film is that is goes against the grain with regards to romantic tropes. This isn’t even a romance movie, it seems. By all means, it seems to want to avoid that cliché at all costs and is almost an anti-romance movie if that makes sense? It’s great to see a film where the two main characters begin as friends. And stay friends, without falling for one another in one of those calamitous unbelievable scenarios. I’m sure we can think of a few films which follow this trope of unrealistic romance.
Greg (Thomas Mann)’s characterization as an introverted nerdy type seems to be a typical film character seen many times before. He doesn’t seek to be anything else apart from himself. Rachel (Olivia Cooke)’s role portrays her as a girl just trying to battle her cancer while also being irritated by the pity of others. Similarly, rarely for a girl in a film, she does not go out of her way to catch Greg’s attention and seems irked by his persistence at first.
Having watched this film now, I realize that perhaps I should have gone into it plotblind because then perhaps I would have got more enthralled in the story and all the twists and turns. In one of the final scenes (probably supposed to be the most moving ones) the scene contained little details to important earlier scenes. So, if you want to watch this film then watch it without any distractions.
This movie seemed to transcend the typical teen movie-cancer movie hybrid stereotype and while I did not find it sad it did pull mightily on my heartstrings a few times.
MY RATING: **** / *****