It’s 3:13 pm
Looking out at a grey overcast day,yesterday was actually nippy as well but we had some sun. Today,it is grey and gloomy. The cheetah has been under his blanket all day sleeping.
I’m sipping on a Campbell’s Soup on the Go as I start to formulate the words for my review. In a way,I always knew I could unexpectedly run into a movie like “New Life”. Maybe because it happens to thousands and thousands of American each year and despite how much one wants to avoid being reminded of a hell one has been through,sometimes it okay to stare back at and acknowledge it.
The movie opens with Ben Morton (Jonathan Patrick Moore) moving from England to the United States. The first day as a 7 year old,he meets Ava (Erin Bethea) and the two become fast friends. The friendship becomes a relationship as Ben and Ava attend prom together. They really a very cute couple.
But while attending college,things become a bit dicey as Ben is working both for a limo company and interning at his dad’s architecture firm while Ava is attending college two hours away,she is studying to be a teacher. Between Ben’s time being very limited and a very handsome study partner,cracks start to show up in their relationship. The two have a fight when Ben has to cut his promised weekend short with Ava to cover a shift at the limo company. This leads the couple to take a break from each other.
But Ava talks to her best friend Monique and Ben does the same with his best friend,Mike,they both realize that they really want to make things work out.
Reunited,Ben and Ava get married after college and things seem to be really going well for the young couple. They start talking about having a family and begin trying…just as Ben’s star also begins to rise at his dad’s company. Soon Ben begins to come home later and later. The job is becoming all-consuming and Ava is really him. Ben is even too tired
to continue to make a family.
Ava finally has had enough and tell Ben that he has forgotten was is important and he realizes she is right. Ben and Ava move forward and then Monique shows up with some big news,she is moving back to France and she is pregnant. Ava is overjoyed as Monique asks Ben and her to be the godparents. Ava agrees and then shares her own big news,she is also expecting! Everyone celebrates and life goes on…..but when Ava suffers a tragic miscarriage,the reason behind it is revealed. For Ben and Ava,the real struggle is just beginning as the couple finds out that Ava has cancer……
So yeah,if you are a regular reader of my blog,then you know my wife and I lived this life for 2 and a half years before she died. Watching a lot of what we went through again,well,I had to hit pause and take a drive. 4 and a half years later,watching life inside a infusion clinic (and me telling Ben to get Ava a warm blanket- in the next scene,she has that blanket),the first day when the Cisplatin starting to cause Lori’s hair to fall out,the stopping the car so she could throw up. Writer/actress Erin Bethea,who plays Ava,got a lot of what happens someone gets cancer right.
There were a couple of Hollywood moments but over all,I think Erin and co-writers Candice Irion,Josh Spake and Waters did a fine job. Director Drew Waters moves the story along at a brisk pace as there is a lot of story to cover and at a runtime of only 89 minutes,doesn’t waste time in telling that story.
The supporting cast is really solid as James Marsters does a nice turn as Ben’s father. His compassion and empathy were very evident as he tries his best to be there for his son.
Terry O’Quinn plays Ava’s oncologist in such a professional and warm manner,you wonder how he doesn’t get mistaken for a doctor in real life.
There are a few more well known names in small roles that a viewer will be charmed to see. Kris Lemche and Kelsey Formost were great as Mike and Monique,the two best friends.
As for Moore and Bethea,this is a heavy story to carry for such young actors and I think both portrayed a couple facing a uncertain future very well. This is the first time for us that we have seen either actor and we were impressed.
So what caused me to go take that drive? One of Ava’s infusion nurses was named “Melanie”,which was Lori’s angels name. That hit a little too close to the heart and I freely admit that Paladin’s fur got wet…..
“New Life” is good movie and while not “enjoying” in the general terms,I did like it and thought it was well written,directed and acted. You might have to hunt for this film as the studio which distributed it,Broad Green Pictures,went bankrupt and shut in August of this year. You most likely will have to go to Amazon or Ebay to find it.
*Update- I was informed you can find “New Life” at Target.com,iTunes,Walmart.com.
“New Life” is rated “PG” and has a slew of special features including a Director’s commentary with Drew Waters and actress/co-writer Erin Bethea,a behind the scenes peek and deleted scenes. The run time is 89 minutes.
We gave “New Life” a thumbs/paw straight up.
Thank you for reading and if you have a movie you think we should look at,
send us a tweet at @HaveCheetahWill.