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
The executive producer Mark Cuban can be seen briefly when the boys are flipping channels in Dylan's room See more »
Early in the movie when Dylan and his mother are pulled over by a State Trooper, the officer says that they're cheering for him at the "14th Precinct." Pennsylvania State Police don't have precincts; they have "troops" that use a letter designation system. If anything, the officer would've said the entire "barracks" was cheering for Dylan. See more »
["Lunatic in a dress"]:
when you're born you cry and the world is happy. when you die, the world cries... and you are happy.
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Written and Performed by Zach Tempest
Courtesy of Extreme Music See more »
A Winning Angarano Not Enough to Offset the Uneasy Blend Between Sentimental and Raucous
It's a nice idea to take the standard cliché-driven movie concept of a dying boy's last wish and turn it on its head into something emotionally resonant and blackly humorous. But unfortunately, something goes awry in this oddly dissatisfying 2006 movie. The major problem is that director Alex Steyermark and screenwriter Barry Stringfellow never find a consistent tone to their story as it uneasily blends elements of "Terms of Endearment", "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" and "Six Feet Under" into an unappetizing concoction. That's a shame since a cast of solid actors has been recruited by agents I'm sure were convinced of the film's appeal.
The plot focuses on an incurably ill sixteen-year old named Dylan Jameison living with his widowed mother Karen in a Philadelphia suburb. Granted a last request by a "Make a Wish"-type foundation, he goes for the more socially acceptable wish of taking a fishing trip with his favorite football player, Jason O'Malley, but he reveals during the media event that his real wish is to spend a weekend alone with supermodel, Nikki Sinclair. As it turns out, Nikki is on a nihilistic, drug-addled and alcohol-soaked slide and badly in need of a PR makeover, so her savvy agent takes advantage of the situation and turns it into a photo opportunity. An off-the-cuff comment encourages Dylan, now a media darling, to visit Nikki in New York, and the rest of the story, as you can guess, takes care of itself.
Not just focusing on Dylan and his buddies, the narrative also tracks Nikki's buried past and the reasons behind her current diva behavior, as well as Karen's burgeoning relationship with Jason. Instead of adding texture to the story, these story threads feel extraneous and compound the plot contrivances. What's more, Dylan's two buddies, Ricky and Slap, are so interchangeable in look and hormone-driven behavior that they become tiresome quickly, and it is basically left to Michael Angarano to hold the movie on his shoulders.
Luckily, Angarano is winning as Dylan. Most familiar to me as Jack's level-headed, biological son Elliot on "Will & Grace", he latches onto the heart of the character without getting either cloying or manipulative about his mortality. Sunny Mabrey does what she can as Nikki, but her character arc feels elliptical and disjointed. As Dylan's mother, Cynthia Nixon effortlessly finds her maternal instinct here, a role quite similar to the one she played in "Little Manhattan". Her well-honed skills at camaraderie, developed over the years on "Sex in the City", are what make her scenes with Angarano work well. Sadly though, Stringfellow shoves her character into a ridiculously conceived romance.
For an indie film, there are a surprising number of high profile people in smaller roles - an uncredited Ethan Hawke in flashbacks and dream sequences as Dylan's father; the welcome Gina Gershon as Nikki's agent; Brian Stokes Mitchell, Broadway's favorite troubadour, as Dylan's caring doctor; hip-hop maestro Wyclef Jean as a mystical cab driver; and Michael Rispoli (also uncredited) as an urban savior heavy into mysticism. But none of them are helped by the distracting clash between the sentimental and the raucous that the filmmakers seem intent upon forcing on the actors.
Released less than three weeks after its theatrical release (an arguable marketing tactic), the DVD contains a thoughtful commentary track from Steyermark, which is frankly better than listening to the film's misbegotten dialogue; a worthless series of outtakes; and the trailer which frankly says enough about the film if you want to avoid it entirely. There is a half-hour featurette of the film, mainly interviews with Steyermark and the principals, moderated by smug, self-absorbed film critic Robert Wilonsky as part of his "HDNet Higher Definition" series.
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