Thursday, December 3, 2020

All My Life Review: A Beautiful Story That Will Bring A Smile And Tear To Your Face

Jessica Rothe		 Harry Shum Jr.	Harry Shum Jr.		 Marielle Scott	Marielle Scott	...	Megan Denhoff Ever Carradine	Ever Carradine	...	Gigi Keala Settle	Keala Settle		 Jay Pharoah	Jay Pharoah	...	Dave Josh Brener	Josh Brener		 Kyle Allen	Kyle Allen	...	Kyle Jon Rudnitsky	Jon Rudnitsky		 Chrissie Fit	Chrissie Fit	...	Amanda Fletcher Anjali Bhimani	Anjali Bhimani		 Mario Cantone	Mario Cantone		 Kenneth Kynt Bryan	Kenneth Kynt Bryan	...	Wedding Guest Greg Vrotsos	Greg Vrotsos		 Betsy Holt	Betsy Holt	...	Bootcamp Trainer

Release date: December 4, 2020
Running time: 88 minutes
Starring:  Jessica Rothe, Harry Shum Jr, Kyle Allen, Chrissie Fit, Jay Pharoah, Marielle Scott, and Keala Settle
Directed by: Marc Meyers
Written by: Todd Rosenberg

Based on a powerful true love story, All My Life follows the journey of an engaged couple who make the difficult decision to accelerate their wedding in the wake of a devastating discovery.  Jennifer Carter (Jessica Rothe, the Happy Death Day films) and Solomon Chau (Harry Shum Jr, Crazy Rich Asians) are a sweet, fun-loving, newly engaged couple whose whole life seems ahead of them. But when Sol is diagnosed with terminal liver cancer in December, their plans for a summer wedding become impossible.  In a race against time, Jenn and Sol’s friends and family launch an online fundraiser to help the couple create their dream wedding in just two weeks. In the process, they unleash an outpouring of generosity and attention from people around the world who want to celebrate the power of love with them.  Through it all, Jenn and Sol’s commitment to each other only deepens, becoming a heartwarming reminder that the strength of true love knows no limits.

Directed by  Marc Meyers	Writing Credits (in alphabetical order)   Todd Rosenberg	 Todd Garner	...	producer Robin Mulcahy Fisichella	...	executive producer Sean Robins	...	producerMusic by
All My Life starts off as a conventional romantic comedy with two strangers meeting and falling in love.  The movie has some really enjoyable characters, particularly Jen (Rothe) and Sol (Shum Jr.).  Their romance is fun to watch, if a little cliched in the film, and their character's interactions are a joy to see.  Seeing their relationship develop, especially during some of the more awkward first stages, brought a smile to my face.  Rothe is really fantastic, as she tends to be.  I love her in pretty much everything that she does and this movie is no different.  Her character is funny and endearing, and the chemistry between her and Shum is instantly noticeable.  And Shum is also likeable as Sol, a boring but perfect foil to Rothe.  And the rest of their friends are fun additions, but just don't get as much deep screen time as the main couple.  This movie should be applauded for committing to diversity.  The underlying story is diverse, but the film clearly had a commitment to it bringing together a wonderful set of supporting characters to bring the story to life.  

However, the movie does not offer much new in the first 30 minutes; it feels like a well done and enjoyable romance movie, but one that doesn't stray too far from genre norms.  I absolutely loved the cast but the story itself just felt conventional.  But once the plot twist happens the movie feels much more interesting.  The emotions feel more raw and the situation veers from standard Hollywood tropes.  But that being said, it still feels like there isn't enough after this turn.  There is definitely more emotion and conflict that is introduced (and again, it gives Rothe and Shum a chance to stretch their dramatic chops), but overall the story feels like it approaches the edge but stops short.  And that is the main problem with this film; it feels like it has pieces of many other previous movies that have done it better.  I kept comparing the film to those and in that comparison this one just came up short.  It has a wonderful, bright style and some areas of true emotion, but in the end it doesn't feel like there is anything truly new to offer.  And it feels like more could have been done with the story.  For example, the description says that Jen and Sol's story captured the world's attention, but the movie doesn't convey that.  It also feels like despite everything that they go through, the characters don't transform enough, especially towards the end.  Another 15 or 20 minutes might have done wonders for this film and given you a chance to interact more with the wonderful supporting cast.  But that being said, this is a film that will give you a beautiful, tear jerking story based on a true romance. 

All My Life has a bright style and a wonderful cast, but doesn't offer anything new to the genre.  It is something that will tug at your heartstrings and bring a smile and tear to your face, but it won't linger after the credits. 

Rent it.
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All My Life is in theaters on Friday, December 4.
For showtimes, click here.

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