Starring: Jessica Rothe, Harry Shum Jr. Michael Masini
Director: Marc Meyers
Running Time: 92 mins
All My Life is an American film about a couple smitten with each other whose wedding plans are thrown into disarray when the groom is diagnosed with cancer.
I really enjoyed this movie. Cheesy, sappy romantic dramas aren’t entirely my cup of tea, but All My Life tells an admittedly familiar story with a real can-do attitude, and that makes it an absolute joy to watch. It may never be the tearjerker it often wants to be, but it’s a story full of optimism that left me with a smile on my face.
Now, you’ll almost certainly have seen romantic dramas that deal with terminal illnesses. More recently, The Fault In Our Stars and Me Before You have both impressed in the genre, but it still feels like a story that’s really overplayed in Hollywood.
However, while All My Life is far from innovative in its screenplay, the unique way that it tells such a well-trodden story is really great to see. Based on a true story, the film has an extra level of passion to it, but it’s also imbued with a more realist sense of optimism than the melodrama of so many manufactured Hollywood outings.
Almost from the start, you know what’s coming, and the film knows it too. So, rather than getting bogged down in telling a depressing, hyperbolic tragedy, All My Life looks on the bright side of life, and really makes your heart sing as a result.
If you’re looking for a tearjerker, this isn’t your movie. At times, when it wants to be a bit sadder, it’s a little too on-the-nose and abrupt, cheapening what is otherwise a very elegant tale.
However, for a film that deals with an often sad story in an energetic and optimistic way, then All My Life is absolutely perfect. Enormously enjoyable from the start as we follow Jessica Rothe and Harry Shum Jr. falling in love, it’s a colourful and vibrant affair that’s full of far more joy than anguish.
Rothe and Shum Jr. are just perfect together on screen, and though I don’t want to say it for fear of sounding like a teenage girl, are a really cute couple that you root for all the way through.
The film’s bright, positive energy is so wonderful, and even though the core of its story is very sad, you’ll find yourself smiling and laughing from beginning to end here. That’s because All My Life follows through on its own message and embraces the best moments in life, without dwelling on the sad.
You can make your own mind up as to whether that’s a realistic or ridiculous mentality, but for the 90 minutes that this film runs, it’s an absolute joy to sit back and bask in its relentless positivity.
Overall, I really liked All My Life. Yes, it can be cheesy and sappy at times, and it’s never the most effective tearjerker. However, with an active and positive attitude to a story that’s so often told in irritatingly melodramatic fashion, it’s an enormously enjoyable watch, filled with wonderful performances, colourful visuals, humour and an appreciation for the very best that life can offer. So, that’s why I’m giving the film a 7.4.