“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