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Review: Cancer raises the stakes in clear-eyed romantic drama 'After Everything'

Review: Cancer raises the stakes in clear-eyed romantic drama 'After Everything'
Jeremy Allen White and Maika Monroe in the movie "After Everything." (Good Deed Entertainment)

Young love blossoms in spite of — or because of — a cancer diagnosis in Hannah Marks’ and Joey Power’s “After Everything,” starring Maika Monroe and Jeremy Allen White.

Elliot (White), a carefree 23-year-old New Yorker, approaches Mia (Monroe) on a subway platform after a visit to the doctor for a strange pain in his groin. She’s the first person he tells about his rare bone cancer, and the two tumble into a whirlwind romance heightened by life-or-death stakes.

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On the eve of an experimental surgery, Elliot and Mia elope, and their young marriage, more than any diagnosis, drives the emotional journey of this story. Once their reality is no longer hot-and-heavy kitchen trysts and declarations of love and commitment, the film is dedicated to exploring how a couple, bonded by crisis, navigate the less dramatic but no less challenging obstacles of life together: work, school, money, sex, co-habitation and choosing a movie to watch on Netflix.

White and Monroe share a sweet chemistry that draws the viewer into their world. You root for these two crazy kids to make it, despite their impulsive decision-making. White, especially, brings a real depth to Elliot, a young man struggling with his mortality and purpose in life. With real soul and gravitas, Marks and Power craft romantic drama that demonstrates that life’s hardest challenges can come at any age.

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‘After Everything’

Not rated

Running time: 1 hour, 36 minutes

Playing: Vintage Los Feliz 3

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