I’m not a fan of Nicholas Sparks’ sentimental teenage dramas nor am I a fan of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, thus anything that even slightly resembles one or the other in a form, content or atmosphere is definitely a dish I cannot swallow. Now Is Good is like the cheesiest junk food served for the less demanding fans of Mandy Moore failed film career. It’s like charmless morality tail lacking both moral and story. It’s like a dead body fighting the resurrection. It’s a zombie of a film. Just not cool at all. It’s just bad.
There are bad films in which it is easy to point out what went wrong and what could be fixed to make it better. Now Is Good isn’t that sort of movie. It is just a complete mess where one horrible aspect of it drags down another making every single thing about it fail utterly. I don’t know enough words to express how impossibly dreadful the story it is, however, the story is truly nothing compared to the main character which is simply unbearable to watch.
Dakota Fanning, who with age somehow loses her acting talent (a result, I suspect, of signing up extremely profitable contract with Twilight producers) plays a girl suffering from cancer, whose name I will now forever hate so much that I’d rather forget what it is than check on IMDb, who decides to spend her last months of life doing boring, teenage stuff that requires some law breaking and cliche following.
So, the film starts and we see our (anti) heroine trying to have sex with some random guy, just because sex is on her list. What list, you wonder? Oh, her bucket list- a bucket list so boring, shallow and stereotypical that I am seriously surprised with her lack of creativity. Of course, we do not see her making the list nor do we ever find out why sex is number one on it, but I guess, it doesn’t matter as it wouldn’t really help Now Is Good become any better. So I just take it as it is.
Of course she realises on time that having casual sex is WRONG and even in her position, it is better to wait for a prince on a white horse, who obviously will come within the first half an hour of this cinematic nightmare. And the moment he appears, it all becomes even worse.
The character played by Dakota Fanning is not, as synopsis for Now is Good describes, ‘passionate about life’ teenager, but rather a nihilistic bitch who, for a completely unknown reason, mentally terrorises her surrounding acting like a spoiled brat and attention whore at the same time. She is hateful, bland, boring and irritating, as well as egoistic, uncaring and self-obsessed. What a great character to emphasise with. You can only imagine how much tears I shared in the last scene of this movie…unless of course, you count the tears of happiness that it is finally over.
When the prince on a white horse appears in Dakota’s life, she turns into an even more horrible person. This time, she forgets about her uncreative bucket list, and instead focuses on her forty year old soul. She no longer wants to party hard, eat mushrooms and sit on the trees. She now wants to open a shared bank account (I’m serious- this is actually what she says) with her new boyfriend and spend days in bed with him while her worried father has no other choice but accept it. I understand that the girl is suffering from cancer and has not much time to live, but letting her do whatever she wants, even though she is an unappreciative and toxic person is simply unimaginable.
Of course, it all leads to a great finale, in which our heroine eventually dies; and because she was such a horrible person that no member of the audience will find likeable, but at the same time she is the main character who we suppose to emphasise with, the whole cast is literally crying for the last twenty minutes, trying with all its determined heart to make us share just one tear. Maybe…maybe if Paddy Considine- the only person this movie is worth watching for- cries a little, we will find Now is Good at least slightly touching?
Or maybe we will just find Dakota Fanning’s character more hateful because she made him cry?
Either way, no tears can make Now is Good any better. It is unbelievable, cheesy, badly written and plain stupid. It is offensive to all the people who suffer from fatal diseases and all the teenagers who have taste in films. It is irritating, unnecessary and painful to watch. It is bad. It is really bad. It is the worst. And it is never good.