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All my life

Peter Malone MSC  |  21 December 2020

ALL MY LIFE, US, 2020. starring Jessica Rothe, Harry Shum Jr, Ever Carradine, Mariel Scott, Molly Hagan, Keala Settle, Jay Pharaoh. Directed by Marc Meyers. 91 minutes. Rated M (Mature themes).

All my life obviously means the totality of life. But the phrase is one of commitment, one of self-giving and receiving in love. And, this is especially true, when life is challenged, especially by terminal illness. And that is perfectly true of this drama.

We are introduced to Jenn (Jessica Rothe who appeared in the Happy Death Day 2 U thrillers), an engaging young woman, studying, many friends. We also see Sol, a pleasant and busy young man (played by Harry Shum Jr, Asian-American, who appeared in Glee and looks as if he ought to have been in Crazy Rich Asians – and he was). By chance, the two meet at a bar, are immediately attracted, are on a jogging date the next day, he introducing her to the joys of creative cooking, she finding that he is more important to her than she had imagined.

This is a film marked by sweetness. And, as it goes on, there is even more sweetness. Jenn and Sol have a great number of friends who are all nice and behave sweetly. They support the young couple who move in together, she continuing her studies, he working with digital marketing but enthusiastic and creative with his cooking, finally getting a job as a chef and becoming a great success.

What more could there be except the preparation for the wedding ceremony? As we anticipated, illness. While this is sad, Sol going to hospital, diagnoses, experimental treatment, his depression, her continued support, there is more sweetness. The friends band together to prepare a happy event wedding, donating money, money-raising in the restaurant, fundraising events, the manager of the hall donating, the designer of the wedding dress donating, the perfect wedding – and so it is.

Even in the ultimate sadness, the film is upbeat, Sol and his legacy (Jenn reading him her eulogy, his filming a funny video her to look at after his death). And, to encourage us all, Jenn reflects on the meaning of life, love and commitment.

Probably too sweet for many an audience, but probably engagingly sweet for many more. And, a bit of a change, in fact, to see a young couple so lovingly committed with a wedding ceremony as one of the most significant events of their lives.

Released 3 December
Peter Malone MSC is an associate of Jesuit Media


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