"Once"... I mean, "One Week"!
Whoopsies, sorry for the mistake there. But in all honesty, I'm not the only one to blame. Those films are so much alike in their stories, characters, settings, and filmatography. They're both done by independant filmmakers, and they both have a rather simple storyline tackling human emotions and values of human life. If you've already seen one of those and didn't enjoy it, I wouldn't really recommend this to you.
The story is the kind we all know: "What would you do if you only had one week to live?" We've heard it, seen it, and know that the main character, Ben in this case, is faced with a tremendous problem and now has a short period of time to live. Of course, he/she will go do something that's out of the norm, and at the end, learn to appreciate life.
To be honest, that's all the movie is. I'm not going to apologize for not warning you with a spoilers' alert, because I honestly don't feel like you need one. After ten minutes in this movie, you'll figure out what's going to happen and where all the characters are going to end up.
Nevertheless, this film is certainly an entertaining little flick.
As a Canadian, I was pleasantly surprised by how beautifully they delivered the Canadian nature. Every single shot in the movie had Canada written all over it, and it was fun just looking at the pretty pictures when the plot was moving kind of slowly. Unlike "Once", the settings play a huge part in the story. The landscapes and rural towns are portrayed very realistically, and after watching the movie, you'll feel as if you've been on a trans-Canada tour. There's nothing flashy or flamboyant; everything you see defines Canada. "One Week" doesn't include numerous scenes in urban areas, like Vancouver and Toronto, but it just magnifies the mood the main character is in. I guess it's not that happy to be diagnosed with aggressive cancer, egh?
Unfortunately, as I mentioned, the plot is extremely obvious and slow-moving. It's not that interesting and the characters are kind of shallow. There's an episode that happens to Ben while he's in Banff, and it's totally random and pointless, and it also makes his character less likeable. I wasn't also fond of Ben's pretentious fiance, especially how she didn't act properly after what Ben's done to her.
The ending, as obvious as it was, was also not powerful enough. I'm still not sure if Ben lived or died, and it left me feeling vague and unsatisfied. Do I appreciate life more? I dunno. But then again, I'm just a rebellious teenager who ignores all lessons from life, aren't I?
What I did so far was plain nitpicking. The movie had minor flaws, but it was good. Straightforward. On a Spill-o-meter, I'd probably give it a low Matinee. It was a sweet, subtle, (sort of) heart-warming, and slightly humorous film, perfect for a rainy afternoon. For Canadians, it is a must-see. For others, consider it as a charming, short vacation to Canada. I'm sure you won't regret it.
I am really interested in your opinions, so please feel free to leave comments about the movie. :-)