It’s always great to be pleasantly surprised by a film and that’s what happened when watching New Life, the new movie by Drew Waters.
Director: Drew Waters
Writer: Drew Waters, Erin Bethea
Starring: Jonathan Patrick Moore, Erin Bethea, James Marsters, Terry O’Quinn
When I first started watching New Life, I was immediately concerned it was another romantic drama about the trials and tribulations of a couple who you root to end up together, but it was actually something different.
The film follows Benjamin Morton (Moore) whose life is changed forever when he meets the girl next door at the age of seven.
Ava (Bethea) was and always would be the girl of his dreams and when their relationship develops from a childhood friendship through to an adolescent attraction, the two must learn to come to terms with each other’s busy lives in order to stay together.
After finally tying the knot and excitedly expecting a baby, tragedy strikes and strikes hard as their life takes a turn for the unexpected and their future is called into question.
During the opening of the film, the camera pans around a messy room with a voice over narration which is deep and philosophical which already sets the tone for the entire movie.
At some points the acting does seem over the top and a bit cheesy but it’s easy to move passed as the narrative progresses.
The film deals with a lot of tough subjects including long distance relationships, loss of a baby and loss of a loved one.
It details the way people move on after suffering a terrible loss in their lives. The narrative change completely threw me off guard and I actually found myself hooked as soon as the tragedy struck the family.
From starting off as a cheesy slightly boring movie, it does turn inot a heartwarming tale of grieve and with the help of friends and family, how to process and move on with your life aka a new life.
Australian actor Moore, who stars as the narrator and Ben, gave a touching performance as the leading man but there were times when it felt like his supposedly British accent was put on far too much which was slightly irritating.
Call me cynical but I prefer having English actors playing English character (and vice versa for American).
Bethea, who plays Ava, is somewhat irritating in her performance and her character – up until the tragedy – is quite dislikeable.
The film also stars Marsters – who is best known for palying Spike in Buffy the Vampire Slayer – and Lost star O’Quinn.
The other supporting actors do help the film progress and move the narrative forward but some of them are only there to help bring the movie to an end (French character Monique by Kelsey Formost – once again not French).
But despite some of the acting, I did enjoy the film and was quite reflective towards the end and makes you wonder how you would deal with grief and loss.
Would I recommend the film? Yes, everybody has experienced grief in their own way and although it may bring up some past memories, the film itself is well done and handles the tough topics very well.
As all movies need some sort of closure, New Life does give this but it seems it tries too hard at the end to wrap up all the loose ends, but nevertheless I did enjoy it – minus some of the problems with the acting.
The end line of the film ‘the most important thing is to life your live’ is a good lasting thought and was a great way of finishing the film.
New Life is available to watch on Digital Download now!