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'All My Life' Review | The charming Jessica Rothe can't save this mediocre tearjerker

You loved her in the "Happy Death Day" series, but tasked with this cheesy romance drama, her talents simply don't shine through the plastic.
Credit: Universal Pictures

ST. LOUIS — Two young, misguided yet ambitious souls stare at each other one night, falling in love almost immediately. Grand plans are made, dreams are fulfilled, and a future is set. There's just one thing that will get in their way: Cancer.

"All My Life" was inspired by true events-we see the real couple before the end credits-and will make you cry. The real Jennifer Carter and Solomon Chau look like such a lovely couple in those brief clips towards the end, that you wish the movie had been better.

Let's face it. If you've seen any Hallmark Channel movie with a cancer setup, you've seen "All My Life." Once the real life story burns away in the first ten minutes, everything starts to look overly familiar and the real terror sets in when you aren't even laughing at a joke made by the best friend. Jessica Rothe was a secret weapon in the "Happy Death Day" series, but she's ill-equipped from the jump here. Rothe is gorgeous and has charm, but her and Harry Shum Jr. generate zero chemistry inside the 93 minute running time. The whole cast comes off looking like overzealous actors than real, full-bodied characters.

The script may have been inspired by real love, but the screenplay could be mistaken for a hundred others. The production design looks like that network television pilot series apartment, where everything looks ruffled yet cute. All the actors here look terrific, like a pimple or ingrown hair couldn't threaten their borders. You spend half of these movies looking at skincare options on Amazon.

I expected to be moved by the story, but all I got was a bunch of Christmas wrapping paper in the end. When you start looking closer, they all look the same. The design and names may be different, but there's nothing fresh or new about it. Everything you see here has tire tracks all over it or just seems too surreal.

The only crime I committed was that I watched "All My Life" without my wife, who gobbles these sugary romance tale echoes like I do rolls at a Thanksgiving dinner table. I could have at least earned a few husband brownie points.

"All My Life" means well and won't harm your cinematic palette, but the acting and overall take on a familiar story left a lot to be desired.

Bottom Line: Put this on near midnight when you are tired, so you can at least dream about looking as gorgeously perfect as the lead actors do here and start off your sleep with a syrupy love song. I'd take a pass.

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