This Still Out of My League review is spoiler-free.
The teen-centric romance subgenre in which one or both parties are terminally ill has flourished in recent years thanks to films like Me and Earl and the dying girl and The fault in our stars . It tends to be a bit of a trick, a way of pulling the sensitive ropes by putting the characters in jeopardy at all times and allowing love – even young love – to overcome any limits placed in front of it. Out of My Leagueon Netflix, was an example of such a movie, but a weaker version that couldn’t engage with its potentially overwhelming premise. It definitely found a happy ending, and like most movies of this type, it didn’t really need a sequel.
As per the form, we have one anyway.
Still Out of My League exists in the same subgenre, but pays even less attention to the main character’s cystic fibrosis, a genetic condition that causes the lungs to fill with thick, sticky mucus. Marta (Ludovica Francesconi) has tubes in her nose and is awaiting a lung transplant, but beyond these things her life hardly seems affected by her illness. Having found love and happiness at the end of the first film, she has since lost it but seems to be quite okay with the bigger picture – especially when she quickly meets her new beau, Gabriele (Giancarlo Commare ).
Gabrielle is very beautiful but above all uninteresting, and Still Out of My League puts him on the sidelines for long periods of time, sending him to Paris so Marta can deal with the difficulties of a long-distance relationship (they both become paranoid – who would have thought?). This, however, turns out not to be too much of a problem, since it’s not Marta’s relationship with Gabriele that really makes the movie, but her relationship with her two openly gay best friends, Federica (Gaja Masciale) and Jacopo. (Jozef Gjura).
Here’s a movie that’s decidedly archaic, cliché, and often uninteresting, but I bought into all three. I believed in their friendship and found their jokes believable and funny. As the movie progresses and Marta grapples with the stress of her relationship with Gabriele, subplots involving Jacopo trying to figure out if a handsome delivery guy is gay, and Federica trying to bring down her abusive new boss, complementing the runtime and are folded – for the most part – perfectly into the main romance. It’s not award-winning acting, but it’s fair acting that makes the characters feel real rather than builds.
At the end of the day, Still Out of My League cannot overcome a weak scenario and an unnecessarily ambiguous ending. The late attempts to stir up emotion don’t seem deserved, and the inevitability of another sequel undermines some of the setup’s potential power. But those who like that sort of thing will undoubtedly like this happier, lighter version, and maybe there’s something to be said for a story that deals with serious illness in a way that doesn’t it is not just catastrophic. On a light streaming weekend I would pretty much recommend it.
You can stream Still Out of My League exclusively on Netflix.
The review of the post Still Out of My League – another mean entry in the critical illness subgenre first appeared on Ready Steady Cut.