4.5/10 As well intentioned as this movie is, it ultimately falls short due to unoriginal clichés and a lackluster script. We have seen this story before; an unlikely friendship is formed between a care taker and the person they are caring for. You could almost classify it into its own genre along with “The Upside”, “Me Before You”, “The Sessions”, etc. It borrows from those other disability films as well as from buddy comedies and road trip films. This movie has a few saving graces, however. The biggest factor in the movie’s favor is co-lead Paul Rudd, who gives a heartwarming, emotional and grounded performance as the caretaker whose life is falling apart and is stuck in a rut. Craig Roberts also gives a strong performance as the young man struggling with duchenne muscular dystrophy. The score and soundtrack also work well with their indie vibes that suit the movie nicely and reminded me of Ludwig Göransson’s work on “Community”. Finally, the emotional aspects and uplifting moments do work well as they tug on your heartstrings. Unfortunately, like someone with duchenne muscular dystrophy, the good times end early. Besides borrowing heavily from other, superior films in the genre, the writing doesn’t work well for certain characters. Selena Gomez, in a rather uneven performance, plays a character who doesn’t feel real as the screenplay makes her feel over the top and unrealistic. A pregnant woman who comes along for the journey also wasn’t fleshed out enough to feel like a real person but instead came across as a random caricature. Bobby Cannavale is also wasted on an underdeveloped character who doesn’t really do anything. There is also some glaring product placement, some of which is subtler (Apple) but other product placement slaps you in the face (Slim Jim). A couple of scenes near the end go too over the top with how unrealistic they are, particularly a urinating scene that is technically illegal and wouldn’t have been allowed to have happened. By the time the end credits begin to roll, how forgettable the movie is begins to settle in, despite the fact that the brief ending scene is a great way to end the movie. Overall, you can skip this one and seek out something way stronger like “The Intouchables” because when it comes to the fundamentals of this movie…I just don’t care.
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