Irreplaceable You is available to stream on Netflix on February 16th.
By Chris Flanagan
Irreplaceable You is a film that I wouldn’t typically stop to take the time to watch, however, I am very glad I did. It was a solid story that’s been told before, but the actors are able to fill in any missing pieces to where you are left with a good feeling of being entertained afterward. That is not to say that it isn’t without flaws.
Irreplaceable You follows the story of Abbie and Sam, two people who’ve been in love with one another since they were eight years old and have been inseparable ever since. Abbie receives the shocking news that she has Stage 4 cancer and is not expected to live much longer and it is because of this that she attempts to map out Sam’s life and comfortability after she’s gone. Her journey quickly finds her adjusting to life in a cancer support group, regular chemo treatments and finding a suitable life partner for her current boyfriend. These occurrences lead to some solid comedic moments but I felt that at times they were cut short from being truly able to breathe and possibly enter a place of realism and awkwardness. That being said, the film still felt very emotionally real from Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Abbie while Michiel Huisman’s Sam felt unrelatable and frustrating at times for his lack of character development from the beginning of the story until the end.
While the main characters had an interesting story on their own, I kept being drawn to almost all of the supporting cast. They seemed infinitely more interesting than Abbie and Sam, which is very strange to say, but I found myself wanting to know more about the people that made up her support group because you could feel that those characters had more to share but it was never said. The only portion of this outside influence to the narrative came through a good performance from Christopher Walken as Myron, a cancer patient that was also stuck in the same support group as Abbie. Myron added an emotional weight to the overall story that kept Abbie’s in perspective by delivering some truly powerful lines on the ability to love and be loved by someone else in this life. I just wanted to see more from the supporting character’s vantage point and while that didn’t happen it still did not diminish the execution of the overall story.
At its heart, Irreplaceable You has a good story that focuses on very believable characters, just not the most interesting ones. This doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s a solid Netflix watch but you can’t help but feel that there was more story to be told. It’s an unfair love story that feels somewhat realistic and despite it not ending the way you would hope you still are left feeling a sense of closure, satisfaction, and entertainment. If you have the time, give Irreplaceable You a watch.
I give Irreplaceable You a B-.