Sam (Butler) and Charlotte (Grogan) seem blissfully happy, operating a smart restaurant in Berwick upon Tweed. Then Sam's old girlfriend, Sarah (Esmond), returns from her high flying career in the States and drops a bombshell: she has inoperable cancer, and a favour to ask - she wants to spend her last months in the company of the only man she ever loved. Charlotte isn't amused. Sam is stunned, flattered, and quite keen to have it both ways. Admittedly, the prospect of watching a terminal disease movie by Vadim Jean sounds dicey, but don't be too hasty; this is a very decent effort, and Jean's directorial authority grows every time at the crease. With her first feature script, Suzie Halewood has come up with a juicy emotional dilemma, and offsets the inevitable cancer movie clichés with acute, witty dialogue. Grogan and Esmond especially relish their dynamic, rounded characters, though Sam seems too painfully wishy washy for either. The film certainly doesn't avoid all the pitfalls - there's blatant prettification going on, and some of the development is a bit sketchy - but given the degree to which the film wears its heart on its sleeve, it's surprising how often it hits a raw nerve.
You may also like