Now Is Good completely took me by surprise. What begins by feeling like a cheesy, sentimental storyline from any number of teen dramas (I’m thinking of you, Skins), managed to sneak up on me before I could realise what it was doing.
Tessa (Dakota Fanning) is a teenage girl living in Brighton and dying of Leukemia but with a list of things she wants to accomplish before her life is cruelly cut short. Her parents are divorced, her father (Paddy Considine) over protective and her mother (Olivia Williams) rather aloof. The script begins by feeling far too on-the-nose and it felt like it was desperately trying to be sincere. It’s easy to feel far from convinced by the haphazard first 30-40 minutes. Fortunately, she happens to live next door to Adam (Jeremy Irvine) who looks like he’s been plucked straight out from a Topman catalogue but this is when the film really strikes some emotional resonance.
By the end, everything from the editing to the lighting starts to strike a chord and I had to wonder if I was watching the same film that was playing at the start. The whole film comes together wonderfully and it really is delightful to see a film recover from an awkward start and ultimately add up to something bitter-sweet and tender. Nothing groundbreaking, but often heartbreaking with some really wonderful, delicate moments decorating what it ultimately a tepid script.
Review by David Rank
Now Is Good is out on 19th September in the UK. Certificate 12a (UK). Running time 103 mins.
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