The Sweet Life Review: A Tale Of Damaged People, Suicide, And Love

– by Tim Jousma

For me, I value entertainment that lets you evade reality for a couple hours. At the end of a hard day, you find yourself wanting to escape into a fantasy world that makes you forget about the troubles you’re facing in your everyday life. And then you have movies like The Sweet Life which come along, slap you in the face, and make you realize that everyday life can be just as emotional and entertaining.

The synopsis of the film:

"Kenny Parker and Lolita Nowicki are a disillusioned couple who meet by chance on the La Salle Street Bridge in Chicago and form a pact to drive cross country to the Golden Gate Bridge…to jump… together. Unfortunately, the suicide pact is the only thing they can agree on and the cross-country trip becomes a series of comic misadventures that lead to a climactic resolution on the Golden Gate Bridge where Kenny learns the value of true love and sacrifice."

Why should you watch this film? The main pull for me as a viewer was the relationship between Kenny and Lolita. I appreciated how Chris Messina as Kenny and Abigail Spencer as Lolita were able to portray two damaged people in such an authentic way. You bought into the fact that these two could see the value in life at the end of the movie by simply being there for each other.

They did an amazing job building towards the ending. In a lot of ways, the film was like a pressure cooker. Kenny and Lolita built up the pressure of the dreariness of their everyday lives. If they didn’t have each other, they could have easily have met their end. Yet by being foolish and traveling across the country, they both could find closure on pain points in their life, Kenny with an ex who left him and Lolita with her mother who suffers from Alzheimer’s.

The end credits really struck an emotional chord with me. Reminiscent of the end credits of Good Will Hunting, it’s a point of view shot of a car driving along the highway. Simple and on paper, it doesn't seem like much. Yet after everything we’ve seen to this point, after everything Kenny and Lolita have been through together, you witness an emotional renewal you want these two characters to have. It ends the film on one heck of a good note.

The only issue I had is more of a minor quibble if anything. Some of the early comedic elements the film set up ended up being out of place tonally with how it ended. It seemed like they were trying to add a Judd Apatow level of humor to the story which was just not needed. It distracted me from the story more than anything.

A movie has ways of hitting you in the gut when you need it the most. The Sweet Life is a beautiful movie about two flawed people who come to terms with the fact that life can kick you in the rear end at times. The chemistry between Chris Messina and Abigail Spencer is worth the price of admission alone as these two carry the film on their backs. You root for Kenny and Lolita to appreciate what they have in life and each other. Life has a funny way of putting people in your path that can either make or break you as a human being. Watching The Sweet Life, you end up with a sense of hope that maybe, just maybe, life can be sweet for you too.

The Sweet Life is available on Amazon as well as iTunes.

GRADE: A 

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Film, Reviews, LRM Exclusives, Featured Abigail Spencer, Chris Messina, The Sweet Life, Movie Review