November 18, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Posted in 2011 | Leave a comment

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In evaluating this film, I think we have to start by admitting that it isn’t possible to make a terminal illness movie without being manipulative and (at least most of the time) cloying.  Either the character dies or they don’t and both of those situations is melodramatic and manipulative.  So, this movie certainly has both of those elements but this isn’t some Sondra Bullock flick.  It is genuinely funny from start to finish and, toward the end, there are several heart wrenching scenes that were beautifully acted; Angelica Huston and Joseph Gordon-Leavitt really shined, especially in the latter part of the film.  It is not without its flaws, though.  The father character was wholly unnecessary and brought an odd dynamic to every scene he was in.  Too much of the plot was predictable and you knew from the start where every relationship was going to end up, whether good, bad, or brief.  Don’t go to this film looking to be wowed by cinematography or the complexities of plot.  However, you have to be clear on the type of film this is; it’s a dramatic comedy (with dramatic being the modifier).  As such, caricatures and some plot absurdities are to be expected.  The dialogue was at times rich, funny, emotionally generous and insightful.  If that’s enough, this is a really good film.


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