Last year, iconoclastic director Gus Van Sant delivered a film called Restless about a terminally ill teen-aged girl who falls in love. It starred Mia Wasikowska and Henry “son of Dennis” Hopper as the ill-fated couple. After playing festivals all over the world, it got about a minute’s theatrical release so you’re forgiven if you’ve never heard about it. I bring it up because this year, another film with what sounds like a very similar premise is on its way.
Now is Good stars Dakota Fanning as a terminally ill girl who falls in love and War Horse’s Jeremy Irvine as the object of her affection. On the surface you might think that the one is a carbon copy of the other, but Ol Parker (Imagine Me & You) is not Gus Van Sant. Now is Good is a straight up love story (with more in common with Love Story than Restless.) Irvine’s Adam doesn’t have a funeral fetish and he and Fanning’s Tessa won’t be encountering any ghosts, Japanese kamikaze pilots or otherwise.
The simply synopsis for Now is Good: A girl dying of leukemia compiles a list of things she'd like to do before passing away. Topping the list is her desire to lose her virginity.
Just from the trailer I know that there’s much more to it than that. Tessa does have a ‘bucket list’ of sorts and after she foregoes treatment to make sure she gets to it, she enlists Adam’s help with crossing things off, but her virginity is just one of many.
The supporting cast includes Paddy Considine and Olivia Williams as Tessa’s parents and Kaya Scodelario (last seen in Andrea Arnold’s Wuthering Heights)
Based on Jenny Downham's novel "Before I Die," writer/director Ol Parker’s Now is Good will hit theaters in the UK on 25th May. No word yet on a US release, but Sony has the rights. We’ll keep you posted. Whether in the theater or VOD, keep the tissues handy.