Movie Review: “All My Life” passes before mine eyes — ever-so-slowly

“All My Life” is “The Big Sick” without laughs — not a one — and without the charm, well, most of it, anyway.

“True story” or not, it’s a check-box romantic weeper that checks those boxes — Meet Cute (meh), She makes the first move, “BIG romantic gesture,” that first “Must’ve pulled a muscle” grimace of foreshadowing, CAT Scan — without a hint of style and precious little heart.

Pairing up the always-game Jessica Rothe (“Happy Death Day”) with Harry Shum Jr. doesn’t pay off. Wasn’t he the groom’s best man/BFF in “Crazy Rich Asians?” Remember who he had chemistry with in that one? The filmmakers here didn’t.

There no sparks — comic or otherwise — between them or emanating from a lackluster supporting cast. There’s probably a more interesting list of “names” in colorful bit players who turned this down when they saw how blah the script was.

Rothe adds another college student to her resume as Jennifer, a New Yorker in pursuit of a degree in psychology, who hits a sports bar with her besties, only to be hit on by the dully obnoxious trio that includes Sol (Shum).

She flirts. She makes what passes for a first move, and does that all through the relationship.

He’s an online targeted marketing whiz suffering through a dull job with dullards, but whose secret passion is cooking. All the super-friendly food truck dudes know him.

They court, he establishes that he can’t sing, but is willing to try it around her and she fakes being into running and exercise to get past that “first date.”

What’s that wily animator-turned-screenwriter Todd Rosenberg setting up, kids? Why, that “big gesture” — a proposal involving Sol singing Oasis, and that first unusual pain? “Must’ve pulled something” working out.

There’s a novel and downright poignant touch to the inevitable doctor visits/treatment scenes, and it involves a dog and that’s all I’ll say about it. Spoiling the one interesting twist to a straight-up cut-and-paste screenplay wouldn’t be fair.

But don’t harbor any illusions about “All My Life.” Everything about this couple, from the way they pair up to the ways their romance plays out, feels scripted and inorganic, people “acting” like they’re soul mates because that’s in the job description. They know it, and we know it from watching them.

MPA Rating: PG-13 for brief language

Cast: Jessica Rothe, Harry Shum Jr.

Credits: Directed by Marc Meyers, script by Todd Rosenberg. A Universal release.

Running time: 1:31

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
This entry was posted in Reviews, previews, profiles and movie news. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Movie Review: “All My Life” passes before mine eyes — ever-so-slowly

  1. Louis says:

    “Pairing up the always-game Jessica Rothe (“Happy Death Day”) with Harry Shum Jr. doesn’t pay off.” – in other words Roger Moore, a Jessica Rothe fanboy is pissed to see his white crush paired up with a Asian guy. And since Roger can’t relate to a non-white guy, he can’t see chemistry. This is a very thinly veiled racism. If anything, the movie may be a lackster, but the leads’ chemistry is evident to anyone who has eyeballs and who is not a racist.

  2. They really shouldn’t let racist white guys review movies with leads of color.

  3. Ellen says:

    Why are all racist fanboys who hate seeing their white lady crushes paired up with non-white guys on screen sound the same? White TWD fanboys also said the same thing about Glenn/Steven Yeun, his character and his acting. Now homeboy Roger is saying the exact same words about Harry/Sol.

    • Perhaps all you jerkers of knees should see the movie and EVERYthing Bland Asian Guy isn’t before offloading. The whole cast is third choice little charm/low charisma. Shum especially. Save. For. Rothe.

      • Erick says:

        Lol, the guy who took time to whitesplain every comment with caps is talking about a knee jerking. You sure showed this rando who’s the “real” exper in cinema.

      • Hit the slopes, snowflake. Most reviews are panning this dog, a few even mention the tepid casting. Grow. Up.

      • Ellen says:

        1) I’ve seen the movie in October. FYI it was released in the UK, Europe and Australia before its premiere in the US.
        2) What’s with the caps? For an online writer you don’t seem to be used to criticism (if you’re the OP).
        3) I can agree with the opinion that the movie is bland. This whole genre is bland. But when you’ve discredited yourself with your OTT fanboying over JR and unwarranted hatred toward HSJ. They do have chemistry. Anyone who has eyeballs can see that. Unless they’re a racist.
        4) I’ve given too much of my attention to a rando on internet, so you can save your breath because I’m not going to check this thead again.

      • Rothe has been good in several films. Here, we see the effort, her trying too hard to light up their scenes. He may get better, but he is bad enough to single out as a reason this formula pic fails. He has yet to deliver the goods on screen. Bland. Fey. No chemistry, take it from a “rando” Miss beneath-the-bridge dweller.
        But then, I ragged on the novice screenwriter, too. Please add antiSemite to your outrage if you’re covering all the “triggered” and “racist” bases.

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