All My Life Review – Love is a Manipulative Tearjerker

All My Life

A lot of movie watchers will go into All My Life with the mindset that they’re walking into a manipulative tearjerker expertly planned to appeal to sentimental audiences. For the most part, these pundits are right. All My Life uses a can’t-fail combination of attractive, charming young stars and a sympathetic, heartbreaking story of love and anguish to help manipulate audiences. The film is every bit a product of the genre, but it offers much more than that. It’s also bravely earnest and undeniably life-affirming, which assists in streamlining the film’s themes of guilt, perseverance, and undying love for the big screen.

All My Life follows Jennifer Carter (Jessica Rothe) and Solomon “Sol” Chau and their journey after discovering some devasting news about Sol. With their wedding in doubt, Jennifer and Sol decide to cancel their wedding. However, thanks to an outpouring of support from people around the world, Jennifer and Sol only have a limited amount of time to hold their dream wedding. 

The key selling point of All My Life is its unsentimental normality of interracial love. Yet the film doesn’t look to exploit the tragedy that fell upon Jennifer and Sol or that they’re a charming interracial couple. Instead, it celebrates the unbending love that they have despite their awful situation. The film works hard to make you cry, but its gradual manipulation is too lighthearted to justify any contempt. Director Marc Meyers gives the story a believable embodiment of every loving couple’s worst nightmare: What would you do if your significant other had cancer?

All My Life - Harry Shum Jr. and Jessica Rothe

The film capably explores Sol’s plight by highlighting the fear of mortality plaguing these characters and the catharsis involved in defying that fear. However, despite the film’s usage of stereotypical tropes, the film never seems to fall apart mainly because the actors bring a visible conviction to their roles.

Of course, it also helps that there is delightful chemistry between Rothe and Shum Jr.. They’re so great together that their relationship makes other relationships look pedestrian. Thankfully, this isn’t a rapidly developed relationship. Meyers spends time letting the pair get to know each other and their tendencies. Jennifer and Sol’s love is rendered all the more compelling by their real dialogue, unwavering support for each other, and the fact that they love each other no matter what.

At times, their relationship feels pleasant and amusing, but occasionally, it comes across as too perfect. That’s not to say that they don’t argue and have disagreements. Anyone who’s ever had to watch a loved one go through cancer is met with a barrage of fears and emotions. After all, we’re only human. We act out, we run out, and we give up hope. Yet we see more of the good (and the love) than the tough times between Jennifer and Sol. It’s clear early on that Marc Meyers is mostly concerned with showcasing the intimate, tender relationship between the two so he can destroy you later.

It’s hard to stop when it starts, but overall, All My Life is pretty blatant in its efforts to make you tear up, but the tears come from a real place. All in all, the film is a poignant romantic film that doesn’t look to exploit the tragedy that fell upon Jennifer and Sol or the fact that they’re an interracial couple. Nevertheless, even though the film’s manipulative tendencies make it unlikely to win over cynics. On the other hand, hopeless romantics will be brought to tears. Bring the tissue box.

Rating: 3.5/5 atoms

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Mark Pacis
Mark Pacis 1700 posts

Self-proclaimed "Human IMDb" and comic book geek. Biggest Iron Man fan you'll probably ever meet.

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