Everything about this is replaceable
Irreplaceable You is a 2018 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by Stephanie Laing and written by Bess Wohl. The film stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Michiel Huisman. It was released by Netflix globally on February 16, 2018
Netflix has this thing, where they either release a brilliant movie or absolute crap. They also seem to have a record of releasing garbage rom coms. Especially teenage ones. I havent seen To all the boys I loved before, so I am holding my judgement on that one, but the rest have been crap. And then, once in a blue moon comes out a movie thats just …………well……….its aight.
They set out to do a good thing though. This movie stars two extremly good looking perfect people opposite each other, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Michiel Huisman. It also has a supporting cast of Christopher Walken, Steeve Coogan, Kate Mckinnon, and Timothy Simmons. I mean, on paper it sounds perfect. The execution was pretty decent. The movie looks great. The dialogue is alright. The music is great. The cast has really good chemistry. So where did they wrong?
Sam and Abbie are childhood friends. They have been together forever. And only ever been in a relationship with each other. They seem to have the perfect life. Sam is a professor. Abbie is….I dont know where she works, I cant tell. All seems perfect, they are engaged and probably pregnant. However the pregnancy turns out to be false and is infact a giant tumor in her abdomen. Which turns into 3 giant tumors in the next scene. They also talk about fruits at one point, I wasnt paying much attention. I already had a story in my head that this would turn into a bitter sweet tragedy – they both come to terms with her cancer after fighting each other and decide to spend their remaining time together happily, doing everything they wished to do together. Except, none of that happens.
Abbie attends a support group for cancer patients. She becomes good friends with Chistopher Walken’s Myron. One day he remarks that Sam will go through a slut phase after she is gone. Abbie loses it and takes up the project of getting her fiance a new girl before she dies. What?
This woman, she is dying. And she is hopelessly in love with the hunky but adorkable Sam. But she wants to spend her remaining time looking for a new chick for her fiance. Sam goes along with what she wants cause he feels helpless and just wants to do whatever that makes her happy. But if they have been together forever, can he not step up in a time like this and tell her to end all this. There is no character development in the movie. Abbie spends the first half of the movie in denial and then slowly coming to terms with the fact that she is in fact dying. And there is nothing that can be done about it. But she diverts all her attention to finding a girl for her dude. But its so weird. See I have not met many people who have cancer, so I cannot say if this is a possible reaction to the shock and horror that comes with it. So maybe I am wrong in my judgement here. But the way this movie tackles it is just heavy handed. Whats worse is , that despite such a plot, they had the perfect opportunity to give Sam the arc of transforming himself a bit, going from shy dorky to just a bit more confident and even more willing to live his life. Even if just for Abbie’s sake. But the emotional tones of the movie falls flat. Everytime it gets serious and emotional, we cut to a terrace scene close to the Hudson, the leads cuddling on a rooftop. I feel the fluff should have been limited to the first 5 minutes of the movie. That is more than enough time to establish these two love each other very much. The bite scene in the aquarium is sort of cute. But thats all this movie is sadly, its a lot of cute and fluff with no substance.
The supporting characters are just sort of there. I couldnt tell what Kate McKinnon was supposed to be. Every now and then she would say something cutting but pull back right after. Like she wants to be curt but doesnt want to commit to it. Steeve Coogan just came off as being a parent at the dinner table, telling McKinnon off whenever she said anything rude. Christopher Walken was a lovable old kind man, but he is only there to give Abbie company on her mission. They do quote nice things every now and then, but it all falls flat in the whole movie. There are no stakes, even emotionally. Its not a romance movie where people fall in love and you see that process. Its not a movie where you see a couple, discover one of them has cancer and they both try to come to terms with the reality. And then it ends. There are no pay offs, even in romantic movie style. And how this a comedy? None of the scenes of Abbie looking for Sam’s new hookup are funny. If the joke was that they took a movie with a wonderful cast, made it fall flat despite their stellar chemistry, they did it.
Until next time