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With: Sarah Polley, Mark Ruffalo, Scott Speedman, Amanda Plummer, Leonor Watling, Deborah Harry, Maria de Medeiros, Julian Richings, Kenya Jo Kennedy, Jessica Amlee
Written by: Isabel Coixet, based on a book by Nanci Kincaid
Directed by: Isabel Coixet
MPAA Rating: R for language
Running Time: 106
Date: 02/10/2003

My Life Without Me (2003)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Future Diaries

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Sarah Polley plays a young mother who married the first man (Scott Speedman) she ever kissed and now lives in a trailer just outside her mother's (Deborah Harry) house. When she learns that she's dying of cancer she decides to keep it secret and use her remaining time wisely. She makes tapes for her daughters' future birthdays and has an affair with Mark Ruffalo. Writer/director Isabel Coixet uses a loose cinema verite style to give the film a dreamy blanket of quiet. Moreover, every single character has something interesting and truthful to say. Some of these stories are so unusual and outrageous -- one comes from an outraged Milli Vanilli fan -- that they pass the time in a delightful way. Some characters come across as overwritten, but My Life Without Me is still a wonderful, moving little film that carefully avoids the "disease of the week" movie formula.

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