The upcoming weekend will likely feel like a much needed respite from the bombardment of Valentine's Day talk for people who consider themselves anti-romance. For others, it could feel like a drastic comedown from the high of a week devoted to celebrating love and relationships. Well, whether you're gonna feel delighted that Valentine's Day will have passed or disappointed by it, watching Irreplaceable You on Netflix this weekend will be a very smart decision.
You may be wondering how it's possible that a movie could be a good choice both for people who hate romance and people who can't get enough of it. Yet Irreplaceable You (director: Stephanie Laing), manages to strike a balance between romance, comedy, and drama, and it might even give reason to establish whole new genre called rom-com-dram. Or maybe Rom-dramedy? Either way, it will hook almost anyone.
The movie, which debuts on Netflix Feb. 16, stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Michiel Huisman — who you might recognize from Game of Thrones — along with Christopher Walken, Kate McKinnon, Brian Tyree Henry, and more. Besides having a killer cast, the movie explores meaty themes like death and monogamy as it follows a couple, Abbie (Mbatha-Raw) and Sam (Huisman), who grapple with Abbie's cancer diagnosis. The illness element may make the movie sound like something you've seen before, or even a lot of things you've seen before, but Irreplaceable You actually focuses more on Abbie's meditations on Sam's life without her than anything else — and it ends up being super funny.
Abbie decides to take matters into her own hands and choose the next partner for Sam before she dies. It sounds pretty morbid, right? Death is never an easy subject to approach, and Abbie's attempts to take care of her beloved boyfriend demonstrate that. She wants to make sure that Sam picks the right person, but it also makes her feel badly that she won't be the only love of his life. It's messy and complicated, and well, a lot like real life.
Perhaps the most similar movie to Irreplaceable You would be P.S. I Love You, which you may remember as a complete tear-jerker. For those who want to watch a film and cry about love, you will have an opportunity to do so during the Netflix movies' sweet scenes of Abbie and Sam displaying their intense bond. And if you feel more like, "everything is fleeting, feelings are ephemeral, love is a mirage" — shoutout to all the angsty a-romantics out there — you will also get a chance to feel satisfied while watching the movie because the truth is, Abbie and Sam must come to terms with the fact that they won't die together in their old age, Notebook style.
Mbatha-Raw does a great job with exploring what happens when you face your own mortality, and she somehow manages to not totally depress you while doing it. That might be because the 34-year-old actor has a lot of experience with a wide range of roles. From portraying the feather duster in Beauty and the Beast to starring in the new Netflix movie, The Cloverfield Paradox (and don't forget her breakout roles in Belle and Beyond the Lights) the actor has basically done it all.
Mbatha-Raw told GQ in a 2017 interview, "I love tragedy, but you can’t do it all the time—it’s way too draining." That makes Irreplaceable You a solid choice because it might sound tragic, but it really isn't. You'd be shocked how often it makes you laugh, and that's partly due to the lines said by Tyree Henry, who you might know as Paper Boi in Donald Glover's Atlanta.
Whether you want to keep the Valentine's Day momentum going into the weekend or you just feel like having your pessimistic views of love reaffirmed, Irreplaceable You, will be the perfect weekend watch.