I’ve seen dead bodies, my Mother’s sex toys, a lad get knocked over playing chicken, women giving birth, I’VE given birth, French public toilets, toilet holes in the ground in Italian football stadia, dying people, domestic violence, car crashes, ears being syringed, men battering women, men battering men, street crime, car crime and a chain of people puke on each other.
I’ve seen shit, is the point. I’ve witnessed true horror.
I might not have seen as much horror as you, but we don’t have to argue about it. Even if you have been lucky enough to experience very little in the way of gruesomeness in your lifetime, I’m confident you’d be fully equipped to reach the same conclusion as I.
And that conclusion is this: Now is Good is the worst film ever made.
Let’s start with the title – and I want to make this abundantly clear – I didn’t know the name of the film. I was told there was a film with Paddy Considine in and when I went to pay my money that was exactly what I asked for at the counter. They must have mentioned it. It must have been written on my ticket. But my mother had found out the time it started and I was still oblivious as I entered the empty auditorium. It was only when the title page came on screen that I’d registered the name. Such an awful fucking name.
The film is called Now is Good. There are many things wrong with this title. Here are some:
- It’s a British film and this is about as crass an Americanism as you can get. The only thing that could have made it crasser would’ve been if they’d have named it Like, Now is Good. And even that might have incorporated a sort of vague wit that it otherwise lacks.
- It’s not even the name of the book on which the film is based. The book is called something like (I won’t even do it the courtesy of a Google) Before I Die. Whether or not this title has been taken, the very fact that someone has elected to replace it with Now is Good is just criminal.
- Someone has devoted time and energy into making this film. One would guess, very little. Nonetheless, if we are attempting to construct a creative legacy, do we really want our Great Great Grandchildren to refer to our long-dead Grandparent as the creator of a Cinematic masterpiece with the most offensively dull/ twee/ middle class/ yank/ teenage statement ever? Apparently we do.
- Now is Good is a film about a dying teenager and her bucket list. Her comprehensively dull bucket list. Now is Good refers to a statement she makes to her teen boyfriend who asks her when she wants to go on a date. Now is Good is the fucking arse-wipe expression they have chosen to metaphor seizing the day and living for the moment. If you listen very closely you can hear thousands of terminally ill people screaming a resounding, “Fuck you.”
If only the title was the worst part.
The film stars American ex-child star Dakota Fanning. Yes, that’s a real name. I’m resisting the urge to call her a fanny, which is decent of me considering her absolute desecration of the already dying.
American Dakota Fanning plays a BRITISH teenager living in Brighton with her single parent father and younger brother. Her dad is Paddy. Which is ridiculous given their charismatic imbalance, but I suspended belief. I played the game.
Dakota pulls off a reasonable British accent, but this is because her entire physical energy is clearly poured into pronunciation. Her character is one that rejects intrusive cancer treatment, and is rebellious and forthright. But her expression/ tone never ever EVER changes. On several occasions she faints during the film and upon waking her physicality and voice remain unfettered. She’s proper wooden. Keith Harris gave Orville a greater creative range.
Which makes any sympathy or empathy you may have for the character, completely non-existent. You start out – from the very beginning – not caring whether she lives or dies.
And to be completely honest, when her character emotionally blackmails her best mate into not having an abortion, I was actually willing it.
Obviously, Olivia Williams and Paddy Considine fulfilled their end of the bargain. And although both of their characters were ill thought-out and tiresome, they both acted well and afforded them some gravitas the script clearly hadn’t.
In some ways though, this made it worse. If you witness a room full of shite singers, the last thing you need is Aretha coming in and attempting to sing with them. It only shines a light on how absolutely fucking dire the rest are.
I cannot understand why Paddy agreed to do this. We all make mistakes, I accept that. But even the script for this must have been unbelievably offensive. I can only assume he was short on cash or owed someone a very big favour. A huge favour.
Jeremy Irvine plays Dakota’s teenage boyfriend, who ends up nursing her until her death (inclusive of full body washes while she is high on morphine) despite only having met her weeks earlier. His screen-presence is only marginally more impressive than Dakota. Although he IS very fit for a child.
I think I often return to class, but the idea that her father is jobless and they live in a fuck-off gaff in Brighton is absolutely absurd. Ditto on the stereotype “slag” mate, with handy shoplifting skills.
The film ended abruptly on the death scene. I’m glad the cinema was empty, A) because I wouldn’t have wished the experience on anyone, particularly those with little time left to live and B) I couldn’t breathe for laughing.