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Then Came You

Director - Peter Huchings - 2018

"Dirty gem"
American teen romcom blends comedic with tragic elements, successfully delving into the difficult topic of cancer in adolescence, plus featuring a very convincing Maisie Williams and Asa Butterfield - live from the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival

QUICK SNAP: LIVE FROM THE TALLINN BLACK NIGHTS FILM FESTIVAL

What would you do if you were just 17 and had terminal cancer? Would you lock yourself in a room for wait for your impending death? Or would you live life to the full, writing up a list of things to do before you die (a “bucket list”) and then proceeding fulfil to each one of them as fast as possible, before your ailing body prevents you from doing so? Seventeen-year-old Skye opted for the latter.

British actress Maisie Williams does an excellent job in portraying an adolescent full of of life and joy despite the tragedy that has befallen her. Skye is as loud and gay and vibrant as it comes. She wears colourful wigs and plush make-up, which combined with her awkward winks and weird facial expressions make her look a lot like a young version of Nina Hagen. She constantly jokes about her condition, drawing dark humour from the very morbid. She’s a rebel and she doesn’t want to play according to the rules. “I’ll be late for my own funeral”, she sums it up.

She befriends Calvin (played by the also British Asa Butterfield), who’s in love with the exceedingly beautiful (and apparently out of his league) flight attendant Izzy (Bulgarian-Canadian Nina Dobrev). Skye has a very unorthodox way of forging a date between the two. Skye and Calvin develop a very powerful friendship. While Skye attempts to live life to the full, Calvin resents being alive. He feels guilty for surviving a car crash that claimed the life of his twin sister years earlier. He’s a hypochondriac convinced that he too has cancer. Skye and Calvin have a lot to learn and to gain their bond, and their personalities complement each other in more ways than one.

Irish screenwriter Fergal Rock created a multi-threaded story that deftly blends comedy, romance and pathos. The first two thirds of the film are lighthearted and fun to watch, even if adults might find the humour a little puerile. The items on the bucket list require a lot of creativity and even a helping hand from the police. They range from the infantile “punching someone on the face” to the far more carnal desire to have sex with a local heartthrob. The tone changes in the final third of the movie, when the helmer and the scribe infuse the film with the more dramatic elements.

Set in New York with an easily recognisable and international cast, Then Came You is likely to please crowds on both sides of the Atlantic. It shows at the 22nd Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival – DMovies is live at the event live, unearthing the dirty gems exclusively for you.



"Dirty gem"

By Peter Hutchings - 20-11-2018

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