Movie Review: Irreplaceable You
Irreplaceable You is a recent romantic comedy-drama brought to us by the streaming giant, Netflix. Directed by Stephanie Laing and written by Bess Wohl, the story follows a couple whose lives are upended with a terminal cancer diagnosis. The film stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Abbie and Game of Thrones’ Michiel Huisman as Sam. The film also contains an interesting supporting cast with appearances from Christopher Walken, Steve Coogan, Timothy Simons, Jacki Weaver, and Kate McKinnon.
The film starts out revealing its ending with some voiceover from the characters of Abbie and Sam. The story then transports the audience back to a moment when they are kids and traces their relationship through the years. The happy couple are now engaged, and Abbie believes that she might be pregnant. When the two go in for the doctor’s appointment, though, they soon find out that Abbie has a tumor. As the tests move forward, she finds out just how serious her cancer is and grapples with her diagnosis. As time passes, Abbie begins focusing on how Sam will cope after she’s gone and begins searching for a new love to take care of Sam.
So, I’ll start off by saying that I found the trailer for this movie to be charming, which is part of what prompted me to watch it. The other reason I decided to watch it is because we were out of town this weekend and didn’t have time to get to the theater. Regardless, though, this is a storyline that we have seen over and over again. At the end of the day, the focus of the story is a young woman who has to face her own mortality and how she copes with that reality. It’s a heartbreaking premise to be sure, yet somehow the film does provide some wonderful moments of levity. A lot of those hilarious moments come from the delightful Christopher Walken, who ended up being one of my favorite parts of the movie.
I can honestly say that I found the movie itself to be lacking in some areas, but I thought that it did contain some good performances and a few compelling characters. I thought Gugu Mbatha-Raw was quite believable as this type-A character, and she also delivered on some of the more comedic moments with her character. Michiel Huisman is a talented actor and is as endearing as ever as the devoted Sam. As I mentioned earlier, though, I think that Christopher Walken stole the whole movie as the terminally ill Myron. He is a perfect companion to the character of Abbie, and he delivers on this well-meaning character. Walken perfectly encompasses Myron’s sarcasm, quick wit, wisdom, and brutal honesty. Additionally, I appreciated Timothy Simons’ brief performance as Abbie’s nurse, Dominic.
While I can appreciate the concept and the story, I did not really find Irreplaceable You to be a good movie. There were good performances. They were some good moments between characters, but overall, the film was a bit of a mess. I thought several points of the voiceover were unnecessary or weird, and I personally didn’t care for the way some of the montage shots were inserted throughout the film. Also, I think Abbie’s journey is a little muddled in the process. I found the heart of the film to be moving, but I think the execution is a little less than desirable. However, if you are one of those people who loves to be devastated by tragic tales, then you can find Irreplaceable You streaming on Netflix now.
Mollie is a film enthusiast, aspiring writer/screenwriter, and a lover of all things Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Doctor Who. She is the co-founder of The Digital Shore (@thedigitalshore) and Above The Line (@atl_movies). You can follow her many adventures through Twitter and Instagram at @mcbeach.