Spoiler-Free Review: Netflix's 'Irreplaceable You' is a painful, disappointing watch
Whoa, that was bad.
Right from the opening voiceover, I could tell I was going to hate this movie. Try-hard dramatic narration over a sappy score and a lingering shot of a graveyard? Corny doesn't even begin to describe it.
Irreplaceable You had the feel of a terrible Hallmark movie, only with a star-studded cast and a Netflix Original tag. To be honest, I was wondering if I had accidentally clicked on the wrong title. Could this really be the movie I saw a trailer for? The movie I included on February's "Top Five Most Anticipated Netflix Originals" list?
I'll keep it spoiler free in case you're a masochist who wants to subject yourself to a viewing. There was an argument between the main characters that reminded me so much of The Room that I almost felt like these writers were in on the joke.
Watching alone - thankfully - I legitimately laughed out loud when someone yelled "Neurons!" at the top of their lungs in a serious tone of voice. It's almost worth a watch for that scene alone. Almost.
"You're just trying to manipulate my life (Lisa)!!"
Aside from a pretty abysmal performance by Michiel Huisman (what was that accent), the critical flaw seemed to come with the writing. They did nothing to make me care about the characters and then demanded that I be sad when bad things happened to them.
I had such high hopes, too! The cast was essentially a ‘Best of Television’. Paper Boi from Atlanta, Mary Agnus from Godless, Daario from Game of Thrones. Jonah from Veep (who randomly helped me find the right size cap at an LA coffee shop last summer). How did they get this level of talent to commit to such a lame movie?
The person I truly feel bad for is Gugu Mbatha-Raw. By all accounts, she's a good actress. She played the role as well as can be expected, but there's only so much you can do with a bad script. And this is less than two weeks after the dumpster fire that was The Cloverfield Paradox, building an (unfair?) reputation that Gugu simply stars in bad Netflix films.
Remember the San Junipero episode of Black Mirror? Everyone liked that, right? Let's just pretend that's her only credit and move on.
For what it's worth, I enjoyed Christopher Walken. The jokes mostly landed and I even connected with the old-man sage advice. I actually enjoyed the entire "support group" cast and all the corresponding scenes. If only the filmmakers had spent more time there.
In the end, the rare strong points weren't nearly enough to save an otherwise painful watch. How disappointing. I just want to watch Mute, and I'm pretty sure my heart can't handle another letdown if it stinks. Can we just hurry up and get to the 24th?
In Justin Theroux we trust.