Irreplaceable You

A stunning cancer diagnosis spurs Abbie to seek a future girlfriend for fiancé and childhood sweetheart Sam, who’s clueless when it comes to dating.

Year: 2018
Certificate: 12
Director: Stephanie Laing
Starring: Christopher WalkenSteve CooganMichiel HuismanGugu Mbatha-RawKate McKinnonStephanie LaingTamara TunieJacki WeaverTimothy SimonsAlanna MastersonBrian Tyree HenryGayle Rankin

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I’m going to start this review by making it clear this isn’t the sort of film I usually watch. To put it into context, the last 6 films I watched were “Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare”, “Alien”, “Predator”, “Friday The 13th Pt 8”, “The Open House” and “The Ritual”. However, when I saw the trailer for this new Netflix Original movie there was something about it that made me want to watch it – but I still can’t put my finger on it.

The opening scene of “Irreplaceable You” tells you most of what you need to know – we hear Abigail (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) telling us that she’s dead but she’s happy and we see Sam (Michiel Huisman) visiting her grave. So we already know the outcome and, if you’ve seen the trailer, you’ll know this isn’t actually a spoiler. We know how the story ends and the beauty of the film is following the story to its emotional ending.

We jump back in time to see a young Sam and Abbie and the amusing circumstances of how they got together. Considering the emotional nature of the opening scene, the writers quickly jump to some genuinely funny moments.

After a short period of time we find out that Abbie has terminal cancer and that part of her grieving process is to prepare Sam for a future without her. Sam seems to be very dependent on her and she spends a lot of time teaching him how to use the washing machine and other day to day tasks. Abbie also joins a support group for those with terminal cancer and this is where we meet Myron (Christopher Walken) and a nice cameo from Steve Coogan as the group’s leader.

The characters are really well cast and do an amazing job of portraying a range of emotions – Walken particularly stands out as some comic relief but also as a mentor for Abbie through her final months. Without wanting to belittle the role of Mbatha-Raw and Huisman, Walken really does make the film what it is.

As things progress, Abbie decides that Sam will need a new woman in his life once she’s gone so she starts to interview potential suitors – much to Myron’s disapproval. Sam is blissfully unaware of her plans until a mutual friends lets the cat out of the bag…

There’s a line in the film that says “just because you’re dying doesn’t mean life stops” and the writers also seem to follow this advice. Even though we know the ending, there’s little dwelling on the fact that Abbie is dying and it’s a movie about love, friendship, getting through tough times and enjoying life.

“Irreplaceable You” is a heartwarming film, funny at times and a joy to watch. The cast do a great job and you really feel for them as characters. As I said, it’s not my normal film but I really liked it – I may have even cried a little at the end…

Oh, and make sure you listen to the ‘Theme Song’ in the end credits!

Have you seen this film? Let us know your opinions in the comments below and of course if there are any films on Netflix UK you want us to review let us know!

About MaFt

Film and TV fan, creator of New On Netflix (UK, USA, Australia and Canada), dad of two amazing children, code geek and passionate about autism.

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