The APAHM Project 2021 Day 5: All My Life
Film: All My Life
Director: Marc Meyers
Where to Watch: Rent or Buy OnDemand
Wanna Skip? Pick a Movie from APAHM Project 2020
Why it Made the List:
This whole week, we've been watching the amazing chemistry between Kina Grannis and Harry Shum Jr. in "Single By 30." Now we have Harry Shum Jr. starring as a male-Asian lead in a romance film.
I never watched "Glee." In fact, maybe the first time I ever saw Harry Shum Jr. on a screen was in "Step Up 2: The Streets" directed by Jon M. Chu. I recently binge-watched "Shadowhunters" where Shum plays Magnus Bane, a stylish warlock with killer guy-liner. I think Shum has proven he is a versatile actor capable of humor, drama, and unreal dance moves. So it's about time he gets to star in his very own film.
"All My Life" is based on a true story about a young couple in love, Jenn and Sol, who meet at a sports bar. The movie moves very quickly (it is only 90 minutes), but the couple begins dating, moves in together, and hosts a Friendsgiving dinner. Sol proposes to Jenn (in a musical number, I would expect nothing less from a director utilizing Harry's talent, but apparently this did happen IRL!), and the two begin to plan their lives together. One morning, Sol wakes up to a pain in his side and Sol is diagnosed with liver cancer. With just months to live, the couple's friends, family, and community join together to throw them a wedding they would never forget. We flash forward to Jenn, now a widow, on her honeymoon with her two best friends, and a new perspective on life.
If the casting had been any different, this movie wouldn't be as sweet and convincing as it was. Harry and co-star Jessica Rothe have great chemistry together, I really bought them as a couple who could fall in love so deeply so quickly. I also love how no one ever emphasizes Sol's background. He has an Asian last name, there are Asian people at the wedding, and Sol uses Asian influences in his cuisine as a chef. Other than that, he's a completely "normal" guy, something we unfortunately have to prove time and time again as people of color. I also applaud the film for not white-washing this real-life couple. We've seen it so many times ("Aloha," "21") and if they had cast Sol as anything other than Asian I think would be a terrible disgrace to the real Solomon Chau, who died at 26, 8 months after he married Jenn.
The real story of the couple is a little different than the movie. Sol's obituary describes Jenn as having a sister, who had died previously, and a brother. The age and way in which Jenn and Sol meet differs entirely. And I don't know these people, and you don't get a real feel for it in the obituary, but I think what remains true from the movie and real life is that their love was strong. In the movie, Sol has a hard time staying positive and finding the will to fight. But it is Jenn, and his love for her and hers for him, that allows him to keep pushing. And I have no doubt that is how they were in real life too.
Just because the film has a predictable ending, doesn't mean it makes it less tragic. I think the film was done very well and was sweet. The cast really made the movie in this instance. I found myself smiling, frowning (I'm not someone who cries easily, so this is what we got), and wondering if love like that really exists. In some ways, it makes me sad to think about if I will ever experience something like that but at the same time, it makes me hopeful that maybe one day I will.
Stop Hate and Donate:
**A Reminder! I will be matching donations from this blog post based upon the number of likes it gets! Share this post and tell your friends to like this post!**
Today’s donation link is for Yong Zheng, a 46-year old man who was fatally stabbed while breaking up an illegal gambling den robbery in New York. Zheng rushed to help when he heard shouts of a robbery happening. He thought maybe it was a hate crime, given everything that has been happening. Zheng was a bus driver before Covid-19 and was the primary provider for his family. He leaves behind a wife a 2 children.
Donations will go towards Zheng's grieving family. Click here to donate to the GoFundMe page.
If You Liked This, You Might Like:
The Big Sick on Amazon Prime
The Farewell on Amazon Prime