Life Just Is

"OK"

Life Just Is Review


Although this introspective British film tackles themes that are rarely addressed on screen, its microscopic budget and inexperienced cast and crew make it very difficult to engage with. As it follows a group of friends in their early 20s grappling with mortality and faith, filmmaker Barrett shows that he has plenty of ambition, as well as a French-style approach to character-based drama.

When someone their age dies of a terminal illness, five 20-something London friends become obsessed with figuring out the meaning of life. Three guys share a house: shy David (De Meo), philosophical Pete (Gordon) and self-absorbed Tom (Martello-White). While their female friends Jay (Wisener) and Claire (Ryan) live nearby. Jay has an older boyfriend (Nicholls), who feels like an outsider compared to these aimless recent university graduates. And as they contemplate their purpose, Tom and Claire flirt half-heartedly with starting a relationship.

The fact that these people are all great pals is very hard to believe. They have little in common, which makes their interaction feel manufactured by the screenplay. This may make the yawning silences in their conversations feel realistic, but it also means that we never believe a single scene. And since the personality traits seem to have been carefully divided up between them, the premise feels like an existential version on Friends that never properly develops or explores its mopey characters. 

That said, the film is bursting with big ideas that at least give us something to think about. At the centre is the idea that these young people are at a "pre-life crisis" point where they need to stop looking at who they will become and realise that they are already fully formed people who make their own decisions about their lives. So it's frustrating that none of the characters has the energy or spark of youth (Martello-White comes closest), and that Barrett shies away from both gritty reality and the potent force of sexuality. But at least he gets us pondering the idea that life is about the search, not knowing the answers.

Rich Cline



Life Just Is

Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Run time: 102 mins

In Theaters: Sunday 21st April 2013

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 27%
Fresh: 3 Rotten: 8

IMDB: 3.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Alex Barrett

Producer: Tom Stuart

Starring: Will de Meo as David, as Pete, Nathaniel Martello-White as Tom, Paul Nicholls as Bobby

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.