Cancer movies are a heartbreaking staple of Hollywood and have been for decades. It's almost a law of nature: new year, new cancer movie. This year, it's Netflix's Irreplaceable You, a heartbreaking original about a longtime couple who get thrown for a loop when one of them is diagnosed with cancer. Lucky for your heartstrings, Irreplaceable You isn't a true story (at least, not that been revealed) but that won't stop you from going through an entire box of tissues when you sit down to watch it.
Written by Bess Wohl and directed by Stephanie Laing, Irreplaceable You tells the story of Abbie (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) and Sam (Michiel Huisman), a young couple who have basically been together since they were kids. They've never had to live without each other, but when Abbie is diagnosed with cancer, the two must face the idea of a future not spent together. It's unclear whether or not Irreplaceable You is based on a true story, but if it is, Wohl hasn't said anything about it publicly. Mbatha-Raw, however, teased the film in a recent interview with Harper's Bazaar, saying, "We intended to make a sort of inspiring film. I hope you'll feel hopeful and like you've had a sort of cathartic experience, but you still feel uplifted."
Translation: get ready to cry your eyes out and laugh a little bit. The movie also features Saturday Night Live's Kate McKinnon and Veep's Timothy Simons, so, it can't be all doom and gloom, right? Only time will tell whether or not Irreplaceable You will earn a place in the cancer movie hall of fame. While you're waiting to find out, here are some films already there just waiting for Irreplaceable You to join them.
Terms Of Endearment
The cancer movie to end all cancer movies, Terms of Endearment is not based on a true story, but on a book about a mother-daughter pair and what happens to their relationship when the daughter is diagnosed. Anyone with a heart will cry watching this film, so it's a good test to find out if your significant other is actually a literal monster.
2001 was all about Sweet November, another fictional movie. Charlize Theron plays Sara, a carefree woman who starts a relationship with workaholic Nelson (Keanu Reeves). Nelson falls in love with Sara, only to find out that she's dying of terminal cancer.
A Walk To Remember
A lot of '90s babies didn't even know what cancer was until they saw the tearjerking teen romance A Walk To Remember. And, man, what a way to learn about life's harsher realities.
The Fault In Our Stars
The Fault in Our Stars, based on the hit YA novel by John Green, is basically A Walk to Remember, but with even more illness, which means double the chances of having to watch a main character die tragically early. Warning: not for the faint of heart.
One True Thing
Inspired by a true story and based on a book by Anna Quindlen, One True Thing stars Renée Zellweger as Ellen (a fictional version of Quindlen), who returns home to take care of her sick mother, Kate, played by Meryl Streep.
Another movie based on a true story, 50/50 is based on screenwriter Will Reiser's own experience being diagnosed with cancer in his 20s. Much less of a tragic love story than the films above, 50/50 has the kind of hopeful ending one wishes ever cancer movie had.
Looking at these films, Irreplaceable You will probably land somewhere between A Walk to Remember and 50/50 in terms of sadness and romantic tragedy. So, best stock up on tissues and chocolate just in case.