Now Is Good Reviews
The premise was interesting, a girl trying to cram all she hadn't experienced into a short period of time, but I don't know that this truly succeeded.
Dakota is good, as always, and manages a passable English accent. Although that always puts me off too, to be honest - well known actors faking accents. Why not use their own, or use an actor from that country.
It's by no means bad, but I don't think I would like to watch if again.
Seventeen year old Tessa is dying of leukemia. She is desperate to live as much as she can before her disease claims her life. Tessa is angry, as one would be in her position, and she acts out a lot against her parents. Her mother is a complete flake that infuriated me more than once during the movie. But her father, played by the great Paddy Considine, is nothing but caring and desperate to keep his baby girl alive and with him. But Tessa refuses any more treatment knowing it's only going to prolong the inevitable.
Soon she meets Adam. He is just as important in this film as Tessa is. Adam becomes Tessa's first and last love. If it had to be anyone, he was the perfect choice. Adam helps Tessa accomplish some of the things on her list as well as helps her find out who she is in such a short period of time. He was everything she needed at the end.
The acting is solid and Fanning does a good job with her british accent. It's my first time seeing Jeremy Irvine in a film. I really liked his performance. He brought a lot of emotion to his character. Paddy is always great. I love him in movies. It's a really good tear jerker. I would definitely see it again. I plan to read the book now that I've seen the movie. Hopefully the emotions poor out of the book as well as it did through these characters in the film."
Now is Good is about a girl, Tessa, dying of leukemia compiles a list of things she'd like to do before passing away. Clocking at around 103 minutes this often cliched story will not reach to you emotionally. That mostly because of how Tessa is written. Granted it's nice to see Tessa is not entirely depress knowing she's going to die and going against the general response anyone will have about her terminal illness. What's not good is making her appear as a brat in certain situations. Mostly she says awful things towards her father who helped her through every stepped since she was diagnosed with leukemia. You can't help at times but sympathize more with the father instead of the terminally ill Tessa. There's a romantic subplot that carries alot of dramatic weight. The romantic subplot can get corny at times. It adds layer Tessa which benefits how we care about her. One subplot that was unneeded involved Tessa best friend. It was created to manipulate the viewer emotions. It's a tragic subplot, but we don't see Tessa and her best together much to for strong story telling. Regardless of the script problems that sour the experience it's a satisfying story.
Dakota Fanning is great in her dramatic role. She's sarcastic, enduring, and emotionally moving. She's give an skillful take on her role outshining all the actors. While it's at times hard to find Fanning likable because of how her character treats people she doesn't downplay those certain scenes in order for us to sympathize with her more. You grow an attachment to her making it difficult to watch scenes where she's being treated or learning bad news difficult to take in. Fanning co-stars were not as good, but that's nothing taking away from them. Co-star Jeremy Irvine is easy to a liking to with sensitive yet lighthearted nature. The other actors are fine, but the scenes between Jeremy Irvine and Dakota Fanning are easily the best. The production is modest. It's not going to impress in you anyway. The score is terrific, but are relied too heavily on to draw an emotion from the viewer.
Now Is Good doesn't bring anything original to the story it telling, but a decent story and brilliant performance from Dakota Fanning overcome it shortcomings. It won't be as popular as other films tackling it subject matter, though it is a fantastic showcase for Dakota Fanning acting.
At one point Fanning even uses her illness as an excuse to avoid a shop-lifting charge. I'm not naive enough to believe everyone who is diagnosed with a terminal illness faces it with dignity but many do. I'd much rather one of their stories be told than that of a bitter teen who insists on making everyone else's life unbearable. With this character you can't help think if she was healthy she'd have something else to moan about. She's indicative of the worst of today's youth. When asked what she wants from life her reply is "fame". Not renown, not respect, just fame for the sake of it. Her equally self-involved boyfriend, Irvine, decides to help her achieve this by graffiti-ing her name all over town. Nothing says "I Love You" like a bit of criminal damage at someone else's expense.
As if the movie wasn't setting a bad enough example for teens, we also get an anti-abortion message shoe-horned into the plot. Her best friend, Scodelario, is a particularly reprehensible little oik who steals ATM cards from strangers and seems to spend most of her time stoned. When she becomes pregnant all you can think is "Abort! Abort!" but of course she decides to keep the child. What a future that poor kid is in for.
Which is why I was surprised that Now Is Good was slightly..... well, good. But don't get your hopes up, I said slightly and I'm referring to a minuscule amount. If you like Nicholas Sparks you are going to gobble this movie up.
Dakota Fanning's character, Tessa, is a 17 year old dying of cancer. Instead of continuing a grueling amount of chemotherapy only to be granted maybe a few more years of life, she has declined future treatment and created a list of things to do before she dies, break the law, lose her virginity etc. etc.
Tessa is quite unlikable, she is the epitome of an angsty rebelling teenager which makes it hard to root for her. She pushes away her overly caring father, hates on her neglectful mother, the only person she is nice to is her younger brother. Kaya's character, Zoey, is Tessa's best friend but they have no chemistry together, their friendship feels so forced. Joe Cole (from Skins series 6) has a small appearance as they jerk who knocks up Zoey, who eventually decides to keep the baby. That's her story line....snore.
Tessa's mission throughout the movie is to fall in love. She doesn't want to lose her virginity to just anyone, she wants the romance, wants it to feel right. Enter...crying eyes Jeremy Irvine who plays Adam. He has these glistening blue eyes that look like he's about to cry any second. Adam and Tessa fall in love, he helps her during her descent into death, its all quite depressing and boring aside from good acting from Fanning (and a pretty damn good British accent to boot), Paddy Considine and Olivia Williams.
Where the movie really hits a brick wall is the middle/second act. Tessa and Adam bounce around happily in love, there was so much happiness in the second act I wanted to vomit. In the final act, her death, we are taken in and out of her dream world consisting of flashbacks and a future she will never have. The filmmakers do a great job of forcefully pulling tears out of you (I got watery eyed, I won't lie).
In summation: Now is Good is depressing, very depressing. Nicholas Sparks fans will love this movie and anyone over the age of 40 (or Lifetime Movie Fans) will give this five gold stars. Kaya does a better job of acting in this movie (As much as I like the girl, she can't act...yep I said it) and Dakota, even though her face annoys me, gives a good performance and is the first American actress to pull off a very good British accent.
Other than that it was a really romantic and sad film. This movie is to watch when you want to watch a movie that will make you truly cry.
As enjoyable as this film was I had some issues. First, Dakota Fanning's accent. It's not bad like Anne Hathaway's accent in One Day but, it was distracting. She sounded like an old woman which made things a bit awkward. Next is Dakota Fanning's character. She acts like a brat for a good portion of the movie which irritated me a bit. One moment she would be sweet and endearing then the next she snaps and says something awful. Most of the time the awful things she says are directed at her father who's been there with her every step of the way since she was diagnosed with leukemia and has been taking care of her since she was diagnosed. There was no need for that and it made it harder for me to connect and understand the character. Towards the end though she does treat everyone better but, that's not until the final thirty minutes. Lastly is the subplot with her friend involving getting an abortion and getting pregnant. It could have been done away with, it's only purpose is to try and manipulate the audience even more towards the end. Sure I fell for it, but now as I think about it, it bothers me. Other than those things, I enjoyed everything else about the movie.
Like The Sister's Keeper the performances are wonderful from the movie's child and teen actors to the adults. As annoying as Fanning's British accent might be and as irritating her character is, she does manage to give a great performance and continues to broaden her range. This is a good example of how she is one of the best young actresses working today. Jeremy Irvine who plays the male love interest gives a better performance here than he did in War Horse. He was probably my least favorite thing in War Horse and though it was his first movie, I didn't think he was that great of an actor. He proved me wrong here. Though he is sometimes out acted by Fanning he does give a genuine performance. Both him and Fanning have effective chemistry which makes a difference as that can make or break a movie but here, it helps elevate the movie. The rest of the cast does a great job as well. Paddy Considine who plays the father gives a fine performance as the protective, caring father. It's sad that he's in so many movies but, he's not well known. There's one scene towards the end with him and Fanning that is heartbreaking and I'll admit it even made me cry a bit. Olivia Williams does a nice job at the mother who hasn't always been there for her daughter. Her too there's a scene that's sad in which Fanning has a really bad nose bleed and Williams doesn't know what to do. Kaya Scodelario does a great job playing Fanning's only friend. Though her subplot with the abortion could have been done away with she does share some effective scenes with Fanning. As for everyone else, they all do terrific jobs.
The score was one of my favorite things about this movie. It adds that extra emotional punch to the scenes, especially towards the end. The movie is gorgeously shot, with some truly beautiful scenes. Sometimes I would actually get lost in the scenery and not pay attention to the characters especially during the parts where Fanning and Irvine were at the Cliffs Of Dover. It was stunning. There was also another beautiful shot towards the end where Fanning is dying and Irvine is taking her home on his motorcycle and as they're riding, horses on the side are running along with them, it was such a simple, elegant shot.
Overall, it might not be the best movie of it's kind but, it rises above most entries in this genre. The story is simple and has been done before but the performances, score, and the chemistry between Fanning and Irvine elevate it above the average melodramatic sap that gets poured into multiplex every year. Sure the subplot with the friend could have be severed, while Fanning's accent might annoy some and her character irritate others but, in the end I couldn't help but get a little teary. This is a good date movie where both of you will find things to enjoy in the movie, I recommend it if you ever have the time.
Now is Good wont win any points for originality, but the movie will no doubt touch you with its heartbreaking, sincere story, and its beautiful, yet simple filming style. The musical score was used in an effective way to pull at your heartstrings, guiding you through the story in a glowing way than being straight out depressing. That makes Now Is Good one of the better films of its kind, just not great.
Where has Dakota Fanning been? I would think she would have had an Oscar or nomination by now! Dakota to me is the best representation of a child star of our generation! She hasn't fucked up and is a good role model of that. Now she has blossomed into a young woman and the transition from child actor to young adult actor was smooth, as this is her most assured, mature and beautiful performance to date! She plays Tessa Scott, a girl dying of leukemia who makes a bucket list of things she wants to do before she dies, then finds love in her path. The supporting actors gave fine performances and in the end moving. Most notable was the dad played by Paddy Considine, and the love interest played by Jeremy Irvine, who to me had great chemistry with Dakota.
Director, Ol Parker hasn't directed a film since his debut in 2005, with the romantic/comedy Imagine Me & You, which I haven't seen, nor heard of. He has crafted a beautiful, heart wrenching film in the likes of Love Story, but sometimes comes off as a made for TV. film, because of the simplicity of its portrayal, but pretty solid for his second film. I just wouldn't call it striking. His adaptation of the novel seems to be heartfelt and inspired though.
Overall, it's not a must see, but the performances alone, especially from Dakota Fanning makes this film worth a watch. 6 out of 10