This British ‘bucket list’ weepie starring the normally adorable Dakota Fanning dies long before the terminally ill 17 year-old herione takes her final breath. Now Is Good, an adaption of Jenny Downham’s novel Before I Die, features some fine talent in Paddy Considine and the still very beautifull Olivia Williams as the warring, but seperated, middle class parents of their precocious teen Tessa, but are themselves unable to resuscitate this overtly sentimental film from the familiar plot contrivances of Ol Parker’s bland script and the none too subtle direction.
Sporting a deliciously cute blonde crop, Fanning and her good time best friend Zoey (the foxy Kaya Scodelario) sieze the day in a sex, drugs and stealing spree through the seaside town of Brighton. Tessa finds love in the form of the hunky boy-next-door Jeremy Irvine, whom she pins her hope in losing her virginity to, the ultimate of her priorities. He, of the ‘too-good-to-be-true’ school of good guys, is a recent member of the ‘dead dad’ club and takes the leukemia victim on all sorts of life affirming, kitsch adventures.
An inevitable conflict develops between the men in Tessa’s life as Paddy Considine’s overly protective father must face the double blow of losing both the paternal and authority in his life. It’s in the exchanges with Considine that Irvine shows he is more than a “hot-buttered biscuit” as described by Tessa’s free-spirited mother.
Aimed at the younger female audience it attempts to portrays, Now Is Good should be partially satisfying mainly for its attractive leads, hormone fuelled party scenes and contemporary soundtrack, not too mention the weepie bits that are heavily sign posted for emotional impact, but adding any real insight into the ready to die genre is way beyond its remit.
Now Is Good is in cinemas 21st September.
Director: Ol Parker
Stars: Dakota Fanning, Kaya Scodelario, Olivia Williams, Paddy Considine, Jeremy Irvine
Runtime: 103 min