How many times have you ever sat down to watch a movie, and had to turn it off without finishing it because it was just such a bad movie? I can guess a lot of people chose to turn off this movie… So I’m here to tell you to give it another chance. This movie is amazing… but it doesn’t seem that way at first. Much like life itself in reality. Life Itself (both the movie, and well… Life) can have some pretty horrible things happen when we least expect it… but Life Itself (again both the movie, and actual real life), can have amazing beautiful moments that teach us the power of the human spirit, the power of love, and the importance of family.
I’m going to try to do this review with very few spoilers, I will talk about a few scenes, and what happens, but not who they are happening to. This is all to convince you, that if you stopped this movie half-way through – or if you’ve never watched it – you have to watch this movie – in its entirety.
Life Itself is complicated… yes, both the movie, and our own lives. Life Itself is not always happy. We might not always understand Life Itself. Life Itself can be unpredictable. Or as the narrator at the end of this beautiful movie so elegantly tells us…. “Life Itself can bring us to our knees and push us to our limits. It can take us down further than we can imagine… but I promise if you just stand back up and keep going a little bit further… there is love.”
Love is the one thing that all humans want. And as one character in the movie put it, if you’re saying bullshit right now, you’re lying. All humans need love. To give and receive love is our purpose on earth.
So why did Life Itself choose to spend the first hour or more of its tale in such a bizarre way? I asked myself the same at first. Wouldn’t it have just been better to just start with the story of Rigo? But to understand Rigo Gonzales’s story, you have to understand the accident he witnessed (and in some ways caused) as a little boy. And you have to understand the consequences of his actions impacted another family… and how all of these people are connected… because trust me, they are connected, in the most breathtakingly beautiful and unexpected way.
Life Itself in the early part of the film is hard to watch!! I was laughing at how bad this movie seemed to be… but I kept watching. There’s random busses hitting people, there’s a dog named Fuckface, and a guy who quite unexpectedly just blows his brains out. And there’s Samuel L Jackson narrating this whole first chapter of crazy shit. If anything, I thought this was an over the top weird parody satire type of film meant to be funny.
But no… Life Itself changes and grows into something more…. Something deeper…. something so beautiful. It’s not a comedy at all. It fooled us into thinking its something it’s not.
You see… Life Itself can be funny, sure. It can be unpredictable. It can make you say what the fuck, about 1500 times. It can make you laugh. It can make you feel disgusted. It can shock us. But really… After all of that… Life Itself moves us. It comforts us. It uplifts us. Life Itself is not a comedy. Not a crazy satire. Life Itself is a love story. A beautiful one. One that had me crying for the last hour of the film. One that had me glued to the edge of my seat. One that had me deeply invested in the lives of these characters as it slowly revealed how each character is connected.
I felt more watching Life Itself than I think I’ve ever felt watching any American movie before. I’ve only cried more watching KDrama lol.
There were happy tears, sad tears, so many tears…. tears for days…
And the movie touched me so deeply that here I am writing about it right now… It moved me so deeply that I really want everyone else to watch this movie. I fear that many people stop this movie, around about the time the guy blows his brains out… maybe even before that…. It’s hard to watch. This is true. It’s really hard to watch the first hour of this film. But it’s worth it.
Life Itself… like our own lives… all the pain, all the sadness, all the anger, all the dysfunction, all the death, all the senseless violence, all the misery… it’s only half of the story… the rest, the best, is yet to come.
Life really is the most unreliable narrator… as one character tries to prove in their college thesis. Life Itself leads us down twists and turns and we expect one thing, but then something else happens, because Life Itself is unpredictable. No one knows what will happen in life. We are at Life’s mercy, watching our own stories fold out every day in our own lives. If today was a bad day, even if there were hundreds, or thousands of bad days before, it doesn’t mean life is always bad. Similarly, if today was a good day, and there were hundreds of good days before, life is not always good. Life is just life. Through the ups and downs and craziness of life… when we look back on our own lives, or on the lives of the characters of this film, we will see pain, but we will also see love. It’s beautiful. An accurate description of well…. Life Itself.
It’s free to watch on Amazon Prime, so give it a shot… and don’t turn it off… as hard to watch as it might first be…. It’s the artist’s intention… to make a point that is so relevant in today’s society and world…. and the final message is so uplifting and moving… I promise you… Life Itself (both the movie and our own lives) will amaze you.