While playing a rousing game of Scrabble this weekend, Mike and I stumbled upon a little gem of an indie flick called One Week. Starring Joshua Jackson of Dawson’s Creek fame, this Sundance film was too riveting to watch while engaged in a board game, and we were quite pleasantly surprised by the overall effect of the film.
Narrated by Campbell Scott, the film follows Jackson’s character Ben Tyler as he embarks on a Canadian motorcycle trip after being diagnosed with a terminal form of cancer. The devastating prognosis shakes Ben to the core and wrecks havoc upon his relationship with his fiance, Samantha. Atop his newly purchased vintage motorcycle, Ben takes in the natural beauty and quirky landmarks of Canada.
In time, Ben finds the answer to the question “what would you do if you only had a week to live?” As he tells Samantha in the film (this is paraphrased from my somewhat full memory so bare with me) “I lived a new lifetime each day.” Though in print it sounds a bit tawdry, Jackson delivers this line with the same poignancy and grace that underscores the entire film.
Though the plot may be slightly formulaic, One Week provides a fresh, insightful, and more intelligent take on the typical “bucket list” film. Stunning scenery, interesting characters, a touch of irony, and invigorating road trip montages abound, without being overly cheesy. Backed by a solid soundtrack and a strong performance from Jackson, the relatively slow pace of this quiet movie doesn’t leave viewers feeling bored but rather more introspective and reflective. Well-acted, beautifully-shot, and deeply-felt, this film is an all-around success. The perfect movie to end a crisp fall day, there is no better way to describe how I felt when the credits began to roll than decidedly content.