Live every moment, love every moment
Spring Break is a great time to catch up on all those movies I’ve been meaning to watch. And this was definitely on my list. I figured it couldn’t go wrong, being based on a YA book and starring Dakota Fanning. (And Jeremy Irvine, who is quite hot, if I do say so.)
Based on the book Before I Die by Jenny Downham, this is the story of the end of Tessa Scott. Diagnosed with aggressive leukemia, Tessa knows the end is coming. And if she’s going to go out, then she’s going to cross a few things off her bucket list along the way. Shoplifting. Trying drugs. Sex. But the funny thing is that even when life is ending, it still changes on you. Enter Adam, the cute next door neighbor who takes a liking to Tessa. Together, they’ll discover what it means to love…and lose.
I just want to acknowledge right off that bat that this movie (and it’s book) are pretty similar to The Fault in Our Stars, even though the book this is based on came out 4 years before TFIOS did. But they are very similar. If you like TFIOS, you’ll probably like this.
Ok. I guess I’ll start with the characters/acting. Tessa is a very cynical, angry character. She’s more or less accepted that she’s going to die, but she’s not going to just roll over and let it. And to some extent, I liked her take-no-prisoners attitude. But she also made a lot of mistakes in how she went about completing her bucket list. She hurts a lot of people. It was sometimes hard to like her.
And Dakota Fanning does an excellent job of making Tessa physically weak but strong in other ways. (She does have a British accent in this, which sounded really strange.) But she also came off as unemotional and stoic a lot of the time and I can’t tell how much of that was intentional and how much wasn’t. But at odd times, she’d seem emotionless.
Adam is a total sweetheart. Totally swooned. And Jeremy Irvine was fabulous at creating Adam’s insecurity, his nerves, and his sadness. Whenever he was in a scene, I was pretty glued to the movie. (Seriously, have you seen that face? SWOON.)
This is kind of an indie British movie, so it um…well, it was actually quite disturbing at times. There is a reason I’m not a nurse/doctor. This movie has lots of blood, vomit, and a catheter being pulled out from Tessa’s shoulder. I nearly puked and I am not making that up. So just be forewarned that there may be some parts where you’ll need to look away if you have a weak stomach. I don’t normally have that weak of a stomach but that catheter scene…that was just unnatural. Do catheters really come out of there?!
I liked that there were points of the movie that seemed to…almost make fun of death or moving on after death. And it almost always came out of the mouth of Tessa’s little brother, who was trying to understand what was happening to his big sister. But it was a nice unintentional joke to lighten the mood from time to time.
It’s a really sad but touching movie. While it wasn’t always the greatest, I will say that the casting department did a great job picking actors.