It’s rather strange when one finds a book (read my review of The Book of Love by Fionnuala Kearny) and movie that make you ball your eyes out all in the space of 2 relatively short flights to island destination but trust #englishrosiee to do just that.
Irreplaceable You is the story of a picture-perfect young couple. Abbie (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) and Sam (Michiel Huisman) fell in love as kids (after she literally got her teeth into him on a school outing to the aquarium where she decided to mimic the courtship ritual of some monogamous ugly fish) and hey presto they’ve have been together since. Their life together is going as per the traditional plan. Well, I mean they are happily living in sin, about to get married and have ‘a baby’ on the way, or so they think! (slightly wrong order, but modern times and all!). Anyway, turns out that the baby is actually terminal Cancer 😦
Faced with this bleak news, Abbi, being a typical type A personality, starts by focusing on the things she can control. Well, she cancels her gym membership (I wouldn’t but still…). Then she joins a support group/crocheting circle. The support group is full of weird and wonderful people each of whom has their own unique way of coping with their impending doom (e.g. one sings it out). It’s here that Abbi also strikes up a friendship with Myron (Christopher Walken) who by telling her that Sam will embark on a ‘slut phase’ and sleep with many women in the aftermath of her forthcoming death, subsequently sets her on a mission to start organising all aspects of her man’s life so that he’ll be able to cope in her absence.
In addition, to the more basic human functions such as teaching Sam how to do a load of laundry, Abbi also makes it her mission to ensure that Sam has some semblance of a future love life, beyond her. Knowing that Sam hasn’t really developed his dating skills thanks to having limited experience (one woman all his life, and all) Abbi begins by creating his online dating profiles and interviewing potential future girlfriends.
The concept of the movie is sad from the get-go, and while the whole wanting your person to move on and be happy is quite noble and even understandable, I think they take it a step to far when Abbi sort of sets up a date/chance encounter with one potential chick, which backfires quite terribly. Of course, I think most of us would like our significant other to find some form of happiness in the event of our untimely demise. Even though the thought of our person with someone else doesn’t really bear thinking about I’m sure we are all able to say the right thing and swiftly move on. However, going to the lengths of actually setting up dating profiles, improving his wardrobe and meeting your potential successor does seem a bit much. That said, it’s hard to say what we’d do if we were actually faced with such a bleak reality.
Beyond the young couple’s story line though, there are some other quite endearing elements that add value to the story – such as bonds formed between Abbi and the people in her support group and her relationship with the chemo nurse. So despite being somewhat far-fetched, the movie does give you some food for thought. After all none of us is going to live forever and what then. Like, none of us is going to stay young forever. And it is likely to pull on those heartstrings so have the Kleenex ready and avoid watching the movie is any public place. While I wouldn’t insist you watch it, it does provide some light entertainment for those days when you are perhaps in a bit of a soppy mood and it’s on Netflix so it only requires minimal financial investment, which is always a plus.
OK Rinsers. Have you seen Irreplaceable You? What did you think? Do you ever consider how your significant other may cope in the world without you? Would you actively want to be involved in picking out your successor? Or do you think it’s a bit morbid? Go wild in the comments below.