Now is Good (12A)

 

Based on a novel with the rather more plangent title Before I Die, this doomed-teenager weepie will require either a paper hanky or a paper bag, depending on taste.

Dakota Fanning does a not-quite-there British accent as Tessa, a 17-year-old dying of leukemia but determined not to go gently: her to-do list of minor delinquencies includes shoplifting, taking drugs, driving without a licence and losing her virginity – which looks a long shot until she meets boy-next-door Adam (War Horse's Jeremy Irvine).

Director Ol Parker's screenplay strikes some poignant chords but shortchanges his central character. While understandably furious about her death sentence, Tessa is granted too little charm or grace to be likeable, and Fanning's mechanical performance doesn't help.

Paddy Considine as her tough, overprotective dad and Olivia Williams as her flaky, hopeless mum keep their end up, and the Brighton location work is decent.

It's well-meaning but glib in its box-ticking and dot-joining; it just doesn't touch the heart.

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