Genre: Drama, Romance
Released: April 15th, 2017
Runtime: 100 minutes
Studio: Indigo Film
Based on the 2007 novel by Nick Hornby, Samuel, a 16-year-old skateboarder, dreams of moving to California to go pro until he meets the girl of his dreams and gets her pregnant.
I enjoyed this film a lot more than I was expecting to! The characters were all very likable and at times relatable. Everything felt realistic.
While I was initially confused by the structure, as the film went on I liked it more and felt it brought some originality to a storyline that has probably been done umpteen times in movies and tv shows. Once Samuel learns that his girlfriend wants to keep the baby he begins to experience vivid dreams about how his life has adapted to this. His mind remaining in the present day, these flashforwards are confusing to him as he tries to catch up on what he has missed in the intervening years. Then returning to the present-day, he ends up living out a very similar version to all of these dreams.
The humour in this is subtle but evident. Particularly in the final line of the film… There is nothing bad to any of the characters as such, the story is heartfelt with the right amount of budding romance and bumbling teenage awkwardness. What helps even more is there is the leading actors seem to have a believable chemistry and effortless charm, which adds so much to the story.
I also liked the strong relationship between Samuel and his mother. I felt she was a very strong character as much as anyone else in the film. Having had Samuel very young herself, it seemed that on this occasion history was repeating itself. This also meant that she didn’t freak out about like many parents in these types of movies are shown to (understandably) meaning there was a different relationship dynamic between them and they talked through problems rationally (for the most part) which was something nice about how this film dealt with this theme.
If I had to point out one snag it would be the narration of the main character being in English. The only reason being it completely threw me when the characters on screen started speaking Italian for the duration of the movie. I hadn’t watched a trailer or anything before diving into this so I felt that was very misleading. Subtitles it was! I don’t have a problem with subtitles and for me it never takes away from the film’s enjoyment but others might not agree…
I think this tiny snag aside, it would be very difficult not to fall for this film’s easy charm. It could even be one of the better of Netflix’s original movies available for streaming at the moment. I definitely recommend doing so!