Irreplaceable You

As a little girl, Abbie knows what she wants, and she goes out and bites it. That’ll make sense when you watch the movie. What Abbie wants is Sam, and they’ve been together since they were 8. They’re extremely until-death-do-us-part, headed toward marriage and newly pregnant, except they find out what she’s pregnant with is a belly full of tumours, and she’s going to die, soon.

Abbie’s (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) last days are preoccupied with finding Sam (Michiel Huisman) a new partner. She’s grieving, she’s preparing, she wants to leave him settled, imageshe wants to know that he’ll be okay. But it’s creepy and invasive and neither Sam nor his prospective dates are super into this idea. Even Abbie’s support group is pretty skeptical. They’re also a pretty good source of humour in a movie that may have been overwhelmed by its maudlin theme. Thankfully the likes of Steve Coogan, Kate McKinnon, and Christopher Walken, all favourites of mine that I never dreamed would somehow end up sitting in the same little circle in the same film, go a long way to providing some comic relief.

The script, by Bess Wohl, is kind of terrific. There are lots of unexpected little nuggets of joy, such as the wonderful Merritt Wever’s truth bomb about the world’s only monogamous fish. Watch and learn. Frankly, I would have liked to see director Stephanie Laing push the film even further into black comedy territory. Instead its tone is confused and we’re never sure whether to laugh or weep (I had no problem doing copious amounts of both, but your experience may be different). On the whole, I liked this movie very much. I like Gugu Mbatha-Raw very much and she makes this character flawed instead of the saintly dead wife that almost any other movie would have made her out to be. Her character inhabits our worst fears while being relatable enough for us to confront them in some sort of comfort. Sure it’s tear-jerker porn, but it’s the best kind as long as you have plenty of soft, name-brand tissues to see you through.


19 thoughts on “Irreplaceable You

  1. Katrina Morrison

    I really don’t like gratuitous crying in movies. I cry when Iam happy watching some movies. There is no way, I can watch the human version of “Marley and Me” Great movie, until the frickin end. At least Tom Hanks apologized for “Turner and Hooch” Both great movies but for the end😢. This non-dog movie reminds me of that! I’ll pass on this one.
    Great review Jay 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Birgit

    Sometimes I start crying at a commercial which means my hormones are on overdrive:) I would like to see this film because, at first, it sounded like Love Story which is a complete bore. When you mention that there is humour…and Christopher Walken, I am wanting to see it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. D. Wallace Peach

    I tend not to like the “finding a new spouse for your spouse while you’re dying” thing, because it seems so unrealistic. Do people really do that?? But I’ll take your word for it that this film works. You haven’t led me wrong yet. I’ll stock up on tissues beforehand. 🙂


    1. The Inner Circle

      No,they don’t actually…..and it’s sort of disrespectful to the spouse who is still going to be here.
      Movies like this make no consideration for the grieving and feelings of loss the spouse is going to go through. It’s Hollywood at it’s most cynical….

      Liked by 1 person

      1. virginlily

        i don’t believe so actually. Love is strong enough to let people go if that’s what’s best for them and so i think love should also encourage the loved ones to be happy again even after such a painful occurrence. it’s securing your partner happiness as long as both partners want it.
        ….in my opinion lol


      2. Jay Post author

        Grief comes in so many forms, and will even surprise the bereft.
        Personally, I hope Sean finds someone new when I’m gone, the sooner the better. But that’s something he’ll have to do in his own time, and it’s weird to think I or anyone else can control that. And when my time is short, I think I’ll selfishly want to spend every moment with him, not pushing him away.
        I understand the motivation, though I agree it’s unrealistic. Losing your love is so hard that I’d wish for Sean to have someone to help him through it. But I think for most of us, wishes will have to do.

        Liked by 1 person

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