My Review of "Life in a Year"
An adolescent drama that hits all its marks but seems to be missing something.
Life in a Year is a movie that I could see being targeted directly to adolescents so obviously I'm not going to get it. Bare with me as I explain why I think it hit the right notes but also fails in my eyes. I can see how a lot of people may enjoy this movie and it does the right things to cater to its target audience. Movies aren't supposed to be real they're supposed to give us ranges of emotions and immerse us into their worlds.
This movie starts off with this kid named Daryn. He's about to graduate and go to college. His parents have high hopes for his future as he's done incredibly well in school and is a track star of his high school. The parents have done well for themselves as well.
We soon see Daryn jog back home and it's completely obvious that it's his father's desire that he excel in the things that he's excelling at. Daryn is basically a vessel for his father to live his life through.
One day Daryn's friends find out that there's a big concert and they need to go see it. Daryn's father begrudgingly allows him to go to the concert with his friends but it's too late. The Daryn and his friends get to the place a little too late and all the tickets are sold. Then Daryn's inner sociopath decides to sneak into the facility so that they can watch the concert. His friends reluctantly agree and their plans are quickly foiled when they find out the backdoor is locked.
They discover some mysterious girl named Isabelle going in through the open corridor on the second floor. Daryn tries to convince her to go downstairs to let them in. There's a small banter between the two and I guess Daryn is love struck when this happens. In the midst of their conversation the guard upstairs discovers Isabelle and tries to contain her. There's a big scuffle that includes security guards getting punched by the Daryn and Isabelle landing a brick to one of the guard's faces.
Obsessed with this girl, Daryn ever the sociopath decides to stalk this girl and tries to find her. His search is in vain as she has no social media presence. Luckily for him he happens to walk past an ice cream store and finds out that Isabelle works there.
Isabelle wants nothing to do with Daryn but he's completely obsessed with her so he will do pursue her no matter what her wishes are. I kind of thought this was frowned upon in society nowadays but I guess this is okay in movies to romanticize. He refuses his advances over and over again and finally gets her to warm up to him only for him to find out that she has cancer and isn't expected to live for the year.
This is where the movie gets its name. Daryn decides that he is going to give Isabelle all of her life experience milestones within the year she has left to live. It's a really nice gesture and I think the heart of this movie is in the right places.
Each of the actors do a fantastic job with the script that they've been given. I just find that a lot of it was a little hokey and corny. I've met with cancer victims and life isn't quite as simple as it is for Isabelle. I couldn't imagine what cancer patients go through in the United States without medical insurance.
A big problem for me is that Isabelle doesn't seem to be in the best of financial situations but the way they made this movie was as if money wasn't even an issue. Therapy and chemo is taxing both on the body and finances. One thing that boggled my mind was how her eyebrows were still so thick full of hair when she apparently lost her hair with chemo? Her character just seemed so inconsistent and that's not the fault of the actress. This is the films decision. I can see why they made these changes though. Again this is to appease the target audience and if you want a love story for adolescents you have to make the leads attractive. I get it.
They also do this weird side story about Daryn being a rap star of some sort. It never really goes anywhere and it seems like everything they did in this movie for him to develop as a star is all for naught. I didn't get the impression that this was even what he wanted to do. It was really what his friends and Isabelle wanted from him just as the higher education was for his father. He's still a young adult so he's not supposed to know what he wants though. I can't really take points away from this but it was a little disappointing that he doesn't really have anything that he actually wanted.
Most of the movie is catered to Daryn trying to please Isabelle and the two of them having wildly dramatic reactions to everything that happens in their world. I don't really remember how I was as a teenager but I don't really remember being that dramatic about anything. Then again this is a movie so you have to be emotionally extreme to get your point across to the audience sometimes.
Overall, it was an okay movie. It is definitely a movie for young adults to watch and for those that are young at heart. I unfortunately do not fall under these demographics anymore. I have to give this movie a 5.5 out of 10. I would highly recommend this movie to a younger audience but tell older audiences to steer clear of this movie.