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After beating cancer, and maturing due to it, you’ll watch a young woman almost lost between the childhood lost too soon and the adulthood which is all but frightening.
Trigger Warning(s): Cancer
Review (with Spoilers) – Below
Characters & Story
After going through chemo and radiation, Lily’s (Amy Grantham) life is starting to unpause and the shockwave of stuff she needs to get done is alarming. For before, her main worry was getting better and now she needs to get a job, find a way to pay her bills, and just handle a lot of personal things which are all coming too much at one time. However, with the support of boyfriend Aaron (Simon Chaput), and mother Nell (Rebecca Street), as well as her friends, she is handling things the best she can.
Being that I watch Chasing Life, the idea of a young person dealing with cancer wasn’t new. However, I feel the character of Lily, and Grantham as an actor, surpasses almost every aspect of what Chasing Life offers. To begin, I fell in love with Lily so quickly. For while she is dealing with the issues having cancer gave her, like maybe not being able to have kids, having her life stunted for a while, and etc, at the same time Grantham gives Lily this mix of whimsical youth with the complications which come with being a young adult.
Take for instance her tap dancing or playing in the tub with toys. In these moments you don’t get that feeling Lily is just some immature girl trying to recapture her stolen youth or some weird pixie dream girl. Instead, you are presented someone who seems real, is a bit eccentric, and could very much be a real person. One who wishes to learn, be weird, and not always be strong for it sometimes isn’t feasible.
Also, something else I liked was her relationship with her co-stars. Like with Aaron you don’t get this sense he is using her for a mid-life crisis, or her using him for stability. For while their relationship isn’t necessarily a strong focus, at the same time there is a cuteness in the way she dances for him, sweetness in how he wishes to take care of her, yet you have to find it admirable that she doesn’t wish to become some little girl he is taking care of but instead his equal. Then when it comes to her mom, I love the dynamic, and then her friends, one scene in which they talk about her wig just seemed so good to me. If only because it wasn’t your usual tip-toe around the oddness. For while they weren’t rude and trying to snatch the wig off, there was this familiarity which made the scene feel oddly unique. Like they recognized she has been through so much, yet is still Lily so why is she wearing a wig so obvious?
Then, on a final praise note, I loved the fact her father was the way he was. For often in films like these, there is so much sympathy and babying, but this film tried to explore things a bit more. Making her father seem so important for he wasn’t doting, worrying, and barely seemed to care. Which, strangely, I loved.
My main issue with this film is the filler. Boring conversations, when it comes to Aaron’s friends, or between Aaron and anyone but Lily really, slow the movie down, and then situations like watching Lily walk up flights of stairs seemed so unnecessary.
Overall: Worth Seeing
For a while, I was mentally going back and forth when it came to what to label this movie, but in the end, I consider this to be Worth Seeing. The main reason being Grantham who sadly doesn’t have, on IMDB anyway, anything else lined up [Still doesn’t in 2016]. However, I can tell you right now her performance in Lily definitely will leave you wanting to know when her next film is coming out, who is she playing, and if she is not the star, why is that? For really, what made me question making this Worth Seeing is because those conversations and filler were really trying my attention span and patience, and yet Grantham kept finding ways to bring me back into the film. Something I can’t say most actors are capable of doing.