Starring: Lily Collins, Keanu Reeves, Carrie Preston, Liana Liberato, Alex Sharp, Retta, Lili Taylor, Brooke Smith, Leslie Bibb
Directed By: Marti Noxon
Plot: A very realistic portrayal of a girl (Collins) with an eating disorder, and the stress that has put on her family. She tries yet another inpatient therapy, this time led by Dr Beckham (Reeves), in the hopes of maybe getting better.
What Works: Lily Collins has never been better. Until this film, I assumed she had no talent. I had been underwhelmed by her in Abduction, Mirror Mirror, and City Of Bones. I kept wondering why Hollywood was casting her. Well, now I can finally see what those casting directors saw. I see her talent. I’m assuming she lost a lot of weight for this role, but her commitment to the character is what sold me on her. Also, Keanu Reeves is really good in this. For me, it’s probably his best acted role since Scanner Darkly. And Carrie Preston is terrific, as usual, as is Lily Taylor. Probably the big breakthrough is Alex Sharp, who plays the perpetual optimistic “love interest” character. But, this isn’t The Fault In Our Stars (though this film certainly nods at it), and not everything that happens is happy. These kids are very realistic, and their portrayals really are aimed at truth and honesty. ]
What Doesn’t Work: I didn’t really care for the ending. That’s about it. I would have ended it differently, Otherwise, there really aren’t any flaws,
Final Word: Definitely check out this Netflix gem. I’ll be remembering these performances at the end of the year. A really good drama about eating disorders that avoids the trops set forth by afterschool specials and ABC family dramas. It felt fresh and real, and sometimes hard to even look at. This is filmmaking with a conscience.
Final Grade: A-