Ms. White Light (2019) – Review/ Summary (with Spoilers)

Like the dying process, “Ms. White Light” has its good moments and bad moments, but ultimately ends with a whisper.

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Director(s)Paul Shoulberg
Screenplay ByPaul Shoulberg
Date Released (Digital)10/6/2020
Genre(s)Comedy, Drama, Romance
Duration1 Hour, 35 Minutes
RatingNot Rated
Noted Cast
LexRoberta Colindrez
GaryJohn Ortiz
NoraCarson Meyer
SpencerZachary Spicer
ValJudith Light

This content contains pertinent spoilers.

Plot Summary

With her dad, Gary, Alexis runs a service that aims to help people deal with the fear of dying. However, to the outside world, all she does is act as a companion to someone in the final stretch for a living. Which isn’t outright wrong, but not how Alexis, preferably Lex, sees things.

Now, as to why she does this line of work? Well, with social awkwardness with those guaranteed to live, Lex finds it easier to connect with those soon to die. So, her dad tapped into that and now sends her on the handful of jobs he can get.

However, nothing lasts forever, and with him recognizing his own mortality, Gary hopes Lex will find a life beyond TV dinners with him and the job he made so they both can make a living.

Things To Note | Question(s) Left Unanswered

  • What is the cost for their services because they live in a house, not a shabby apartment? Much less can afford that place and office space – mind you, in an area clearly going through hard times, but still.

Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs

Sometimes people need to do something for somebody else in order to deal with their own shit.
— Nora

Val (Judith Light) talking about how she misses wanting things.
Val (Judith Light)

I wanna want things still, I miss that.
— Val

Character Guide

Alexis “Lex” Cardova (Roberta Colindrez)

For quite some time, Lex has acted as someone who helps people work out their fears and provide a listening ear while on their death bed. Outside of that? Well, Lex has no life. Her best friend, co-worker, the one she talks to who isn’t a client? That’s solely her dad, who, recognizing his own mortality, is desperate for her to make a connection with someone who’ll be alive for more than a year.

Gary Cardova (John Ortiz)

While Gary loves his work, his simple life, he is starting to recognize what is comfortable for him has created a routine that won’t push his daughter to grow. This is a problem since she has seemingly been stuck in a rut since her mother died.

Nora (Carson Meyer)

Gary (John Ortiz) and Nora (Carson Meyer) in a hospital.
Gary (John Ortiz) and Nora (Carson Meyer)

A 17-year-old girl who, when we meet her, is dying. However, after a miracle drug, she dedicates her life to helping Nora the way Nora helped her. Mainly due to her samurai beliefs calling for it.

Spencer (Zachary Spicer)

A medium who sees himself as a peer to Lex even though she sees him as a fraud.

Valerie “Val” or “V” (Judith Light)

Lex’s only client throughout the entire movie who

Review

On The Fence

While It Presents A Different Type of Setup, It Lacks The Characters It Needs

To begin, the whole premise, as presented in Lex’s first scene, is kind of cool and fits very much into what you’d think could be a weird episodic show. However, as a movie, while Colindrez holds it down, it makes for this awkward dark comedy that lacks the characters it needs. Mainly in the form of someone to play off the dead in the eyes Lex.

Now, this isn’t to say there isn’t an attempt to have the perfect match in either Nora, a girl who goes from client to co-worker; Spencer, a medium who Lex believes is a fraud, or Valerie, the client we see Lex spend time with throughout the movie. It’s just, Valerie, who prefers Val, isn’t enough on her own. Especially since she stonewalls Lex and clearly isn’t the kind of patient she is used to working with. Thus throwing off Lex’s mojo and ultimately throwing off the movie a bit as well.

Lex (Roberta Colindrez) facing the camera, but not looking at it.
Lex (Roberta Colindrez)

Then when it comes to Nora and Spencer? Nora, the girl who lived, is strange, thanks to her being a 17-year-old white girl who believes in following the samurai’s code. Yet, not odd to the point of you feeling connected or interested. Instead, Nora is the kind of strange that’s very “Look at me!” but without the bounciness that would turn her into a manic pixie dreamgirl.

Leaving Spencer, who becomes a bit of a love interest. Yeah, Spencer’s issue is Lex pushes you to see him as a charming con artist and with him having no chemistry with Colindrez, or just us typecasting her after watching “Vida,” there wasn’t much there to invest in. Making it so you have an interesting character, a character whose life is talking to people literally on their dying bed, and a slew of characters who contribute dialog but nothing to really get you all that excited.

Oh, and this includes Gary, Lex’s dad, who is nice but unremarkable. I’d even say, between him, Nora, and Spencer, you almost are left wondering if there will be some kind of twist where you learn Lex talks to ghost or is a ghost because that’s how off this film sometimes is.

Overall

Rating: Mixed (Divisive)

Perhaps the issue with “Ms. White Light” is that it spends way too much time focusing on just one client, and said client doesn’t need whatever Lex is trying to sell but just company. And so, it pushes you to want to grab onto something to keep your interest, but with Lex utterly distanced from everyone but her dad, who is just utterly uncomplex, it makes for what ultimately feels like a dull movie.

Hence the mixed label for while you could imagine, as a series, this growing on your and working, as a roughly 90-minute feature, it feels like it is still laying down a foundation even as it comes to an end.

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Ending Explained (Spoilers)

How Does “Ms. White Light” End?

Spencer (Zachary Spicer) and Lex (Roberta Colindrez) sitting on the floor.
Spencer (Zachary Spicer) and Lex (Roberta Colindrez)

Val finally dies, and her means of opening up to Lex is just talking about her decision to never have a traditional family with a partner and children. Rather, she had focused on other things, and though she did find someone, it didn’t necessarily snap something within her that made her want the whole package. And on the same night Val dies, Nora does too, for she didn’t get better, they just found drugs to extend her life. So rather than be with family, kids her own age, anything normal, she decided to work for Lex and Gary, even spend time at their home, for the last months of her 17th year.

Yeah, and her parents knew and seemingly were okay about it.

That aside, Lex also ends up with Spencer, who now works with her.

Does “Ms. White Light” Have Sequel Potential?

“Ms. White Light” could become a series, but I think it would need to wipe out Val and Spencer. It can keep everything else though, including Nora dying as a nod to the film, and a dramatic end to the first season.

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. How did Gary make money before he had Lex do all the work, and he handle the bills? After Lex’s mom was killed in that auto accident, did he use money from a likely settlement to live off of for years? Assuming the truck that hit the car belonged to a notable company.

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