Two people face a seemingly-insurmountable obstacle that might stand between them and a last chance at love.Two people face a seemingly-insurmountable obstacle that might stand between them and a last chance at love.Two people face a seemingly-insurmountable obstacle that might stand between them and a last chance at love.
From the opening frames of the film we learn that Griffin (Dermot Mulroney) has inoperable cancer: his frank and compassionate physician (Lois Smith) aligns him with reality. Griffin is a divorced father of two boys and his first attempt to find meaning in his limited time is to spend time with them, an attempt partially thwarted by his ex-wife. Once a workaholic, Griffin attends a class on death and dying at the university and there he meets the rather strange and isolated Phoenix (Amanda Peet). Griffin's new take on life encourages him to go after the seemingly impenetrable Phoenix and through a series of wildly frivolous escapades he courts her and they gradually fall in love - something neither felt they could do. They cope with issues of intimacy and finally Phoenix shares her secret with Griffin, a secret that plunges them headlong into a fully blossomed romance. How the two cope with the inevitable is well handled, rarely bordering on sappy, and always holding our compassion.
Director Ed Stone paces the film well, inserting moments of extended silence to match the emotional atmosphere, allowing breathing space. Both Peet and Mulroney create believable three-dimensional characters and are well supported by such solid actors as Lois Smith, Sarah Paulson, and Novella Nelson. The story may have sad aspects, but the cast always allows the humor inherent in any life event to come through. And that is one of the several reasons the film works well. Grady Harp
- Sep 18, 2007