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(2020) (Jessica Rothe, Harry Shum Jr.) (PG-13)

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Drama: A young couple must contend with a serious medical diagnosis that threatens their future together.

Jenn Carter (JESSICA ROTHE) is a twenty-something single woman pursuing her master's degree in psychology. Solomon "Sol" Chau (HARRY SHUM JR.) is a digital marketing expert who loves to cook. They end up meeting -- and instantly falling for each other -- while at a bar with their friends, Megan Denhoff (MARIELLE SCOTT) & Amanda Fletcher (CHRISSIE FIT) and Dave Berger (JAY PHAROAH) & Kyle Campbell (KYLE ALLEN).

Through a whirlwind romance, Jenn and Sol end up moving in together, with her encouraging him to pursue his dream of being a chef and him eventually proposing to her. But then a serious medical diagnosis interrupts their bliss and while going through that and another setback, they contemplate their future together.

OUR TAKE: 5.5 out of 10

Many fairy tales, along with films of their ilk, are about finding true love with one's Prince or Princess Charming and living happily ever after. But as many a kid will learn along the way of growing up into an adult, the last part is rarely permanent and sometimes is unfairly cut short.

Accordingly, there's a plethora of movies about romance of one form or another going great until something comes along to overturn the hunky-dory applecart and turn lovey-dovey eyes into frowns of concern and worry. Frankly, I'm not a big fan of this subset of the romantic drama -- often referred to as the "disease of the week" -- because life is already hard enough as it is to sit through watching fictional love get figuratively and literally whacked.

Yes, there are decent entries among these sorts of offerings -- such as "The Fault in Our Stars" -- but I'm not sure why people seek out such films beyond needing a cinematic stimulus to evoke a big ol' cry. Life is short, sometimes cruel, and often not fair, so I don't really need to see that recreated up on the screen.

But such flicks keep on coming and the latest is "All My Life," another disease of the week offering that just so happens to be inspired by a true story (that only serves to make it even that much sadder knowing it happened to real people out in the real world).

In any event, Jessica Rothe and Harry Shum Jr. play two twenty-something characters who meet in a bar, exchange some witty remarks as oft happens in such flicks, and then fall head over heels in love, much to the delight of their respective friends (Marielle Scott, Chrissie Fit, Jay Pharoah and Kyle Allen). They move in together and start their lives with a wedding and tropical honeymoon in the not too distant future.

Cue the Grim Reaper who then appears, punches his time card, and patiently waits for the hammer (or scythe if you will) to drop and throw the lovebirds' lives into disarray. They then go through the usual reactions to such news that you've seen countless times before, certainly in the movies but also, hopefully not that often, in real life.

Rothe and Shum are good in their parts, have credible chemistry together, and make for a charming and adorable couple. And those playing their friends do, well, what such friend characters do in films along these lines.

If you love movies that operate and play out in highly charged emotional lands, you'll probably like or maybe even love the offering and shed a tear or two or three by the inevitable. For me, it just felt like more of the same old, same old, with nothing new, interesting or creative to distinguish it from scores of movies similar to it in storyline and theme (the latter of which is hammered home via some voice-over narration at the beginning and end).

I didn't dislike the offering as it's decent enough for what it is and what it's trying to do to susceptible viewers. I'm just not sure in today's world of rampant early death -- and thus relationships that have happily ever after ripped out from under them -- there's a need for yet another entry in this crowded sub-genre. "All My Life" rates as a 5.5 out of 10.

Reviewed December 1, 2020 / Posted December 4, 2020

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