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A boy, Dylan (Michael Angarano), in grade ten with terminal cancer gets a last wish from the Wish Givers Foundation. His makes a new wish which seems a little inappropriate. As his last wish he wants to be with a super model (Sunny Mabrey) for a week alone. At first Nikki (Mabrey) has pity for him but soon it turns into love. Written by
I have to admit that I approached this film with a little trepidation at the Tribeca Film Festival. One one hand, the plot sounded a little like it might come out of an afterschool special; but then again, the cast had Cynthia Nixon, Gina Gershon, Wyclef Jean, and I had heard a rumor about a certain movie star cameo. (Which I won't spoil here.) And I knew that Sunny Mabrey, the only thing I remember from XXX2, was in it. Certainly all of these names wouldn't have been attracted by something pedestrian, right? Right. The IMDb and other reviews summarize the plot, so I won't do that here. (Or rant that the film never got a chance to find a theatrical audience. Thanks, Cuban.) But what I will do is tell you that the writing and the acting elevate this film into something pretty special.
It's not rare to find a funny film. It's not rare to find a sad film about death. What is rare is to find a film that is honest about its approach to death, and that manages to be both very funny and sad. And while some of the laughs certainly qualify as gallows humor, for anyone that has been through something like this, you will appreciate the filmmakers' open approach of looking at all the shades of this experience.
It is a strong testament to the film (and especially the writing) that from the opening scene, you know how this movie is going to end, yet that end is still very affecting. It was definitely more than a little dusty in the theater, if you know what I mean. But the end is not cheap, or manipulative. The emotions that are generated are come by honestly, and true to the spirit of the characters.
I'd especially like to mention the performances by all the actors playing the teenagers. These felt like real kids, who were both terrified by the situation, yet doing their best to get through it anyway they can. A lot of reviews have mentioned Michael Angarano, and rightfully so, but Matt Bush and Gideon Click are also excellent, and the three of them create a really strong dynamic. And there is a killer Wyclef Jean song over the end credits.
I'll also add that this movie sparked more conversation between my girlfriend and I than any we've seen, and that's really saying something.
So buy it, rent it, add it to your Netflix, tell a friend. This is a film that deserves your support. You won't regret giving it a chance.
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