Watched Apr 20, 2012
Adam Cook’s review:
Touch wood I never have cancer but if I do I hope it is Hollywood Cancer. You know the kind, where solemn orchestral strings constantly play in the background, friends and family provide morale boosting soundbites of triteness and you still look utterly fabulous throughout the whole ordeal.
In truth I knew I was going to hate this film when Kate Hudson received top billing. No actor in the history of cinema has appeared in such a promising debut only to squander it all by starring in mind numbingly awful chick-flicks. Here our dear Kate plays a carefree career woman with no interest in settling down. When she meets a doctor (Gael Garcia Bernal no doubt forced to make the film as part of some strange LA community service program) she finally sees the possibility of a settled future. But what is that I see on the horizon but some cruel twist of fate as she is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Damn you sweet irony why couldn’t these beautiful, wealthy and bizarrely popular people just be happy? I think the film wants the audience to hope that these two people will find a way to be together yet the only wish I had was that her cancer was more invasive and would put an end to the film sooner.
I wonder if this film is a perverse Conservative message movie where it espouses the virtues of long-term relationships as a way to prevent terminal illness. Get married and receive twenty years of disease-free living; guaranteed. I’m sad to say that the two leads are the only characters that remotely approach being rounded individuals with the others being relegated to mere genre stereotypes from the camp gay friend (seriously, they’re used like a fashion accessory as every self-sufficient city woman seems to have one) to the overbearing mother.
Any movie that dares has Whoopi Goldberg as God sitting on clouds (or Kate’s projection of God to make it more legitimate) deserves the audience’s disdain. The one brief bright spot is Peter Dinklage as a mustachioed gigolo. Sadly, he is only in the film for five minutes meaning you have to endure the remaining 100 minutes with no sign of hope.
I find it amazing that this is from the same director who made the excellent The Woodsman. The two films couldn’t be more different both in tone, content and competency of execution. Maybe she lost a bet and the forfeit was to make this wearisome movie. The only way you can care about these characters is knowing the fact one of them is going to die but even then you never feel invested in them or their spark-free relationship. They do movie couple stuff like going hang gliding, painting murals and Kate even manages to find time to deliver a simpering but oh so inspirational voice over from beyond the grave. Whilst you think the film can’t get any worse it continually sinks to new lows with the ending being so offensively awful I don’t think I can possibly do it justice here.
You’ll laugh (in all the wrong places), you’ll cry (tears of hate-filled rage) and you’ll projectile vomit from the allergic reaction to the excessive maudlin schmaltz.