Where I Watched It: Amazon
English Audio Description Available?: Yes
Description Provided By: Media Access Group
Narrated By: Shannon Stokey
You may not like the ending, but I hope you like the journey. When I heard that statement at the beginning of the film, I was like, Ok. I hope I do like the ending, that’s kind of the point. But, I understand now what they meant. When the main character offers that to you before you find out that you’re watching a quasi-coming of age story about a teenage girl being raised by her single dad, and trying to navigate high school, and prepare herself for life while making dumb choices, it seems like a fairly innocuous proposition to talk about the journey and the ending.
But rather quickly, you learn that dad (John Cho) has a tumor on a bone at the base of his skull, and it’s a super complicated procedure to remove it where the chance of failure is greater than the chance of success. So, he can either choose to tackle it now, and potentially end his life and remaining time with his daughter who isn’t prepared for life yet, or he can take this next year and help her be ready.
And if you still think you know where this movie is headed, you would be wrong. This movie curveballs you almost the same way something like Remember Me did when the audience realized it was a 9/11 movie, something they hid in the campaign. There’s a similar right hook waiting for you, and I did like the journey, and I appreciated the end. It was a gut punch, but it worked. I was invested, and there’s more I could say, but it would spoil this film. Don’t start looking for the ending either. Just let it come to you. It’s sudden, and unlikely to be something Nostradamus would see coming.
This went from being a good indie, with an impressively mature performance from john Cho, that I would likely remember fondly, to suddenly this film I became fully invested in, and will remember at the end of the year. I ahven’t looked at other critics, because I don’t want to. I don’t need validation to know that this film reached me. It may not reach anyone else, but it’s the first film to genuinely move me since Mass.
The Blind Perspective: I’m not totally sure that this film has any difficult description, except there’s a lot of texting. That is probably the hardest part to navigate. Otherwise, it does a good job of giving us character descriptions, clothing choices, facial expressions, and things that help to round out these characters so that the film can just do its thing. I’m unfamiliar with the narrator, but I look forward to more from them in the future.
Final Thoughts: I highly recommend this. It’s currently in my Top 10 for the year, and I’m just under 100 titles. If this gets bumped, then it means this was a great year for cinema.
Final Grade: A