Film Reviews

How I Live Now – Film Review

World War 3 strikes so what do you do? Burn your plane ticket home so you can continue your incestuous romance with your first cousin. I guess the heart wants what the heart wants…

Set in the not so distant future, this adaption of Meg Rosoff’s Young Adult Bestseller can be described as nothing other than mind-numbingly boring; and I thought that bored to tears was just a saying.

Bratty Yank Daisy (Saoirse Ronan) has been shooed from home by her ‘asshole’ dad to come spend some loving quality time with her annoyingly bohemian Brit cousins. She manages to woo them with her not so sparkling personality but just as the picturesque British country side and her cousin crush (George McKay) begin to crack her bitchy, sarcastic persona, WW3 inconveniently wreaks havoc.

The relationship barely has any time to bloom before we’re thrown in at the deep end during an incest sex scene. (I don’t think your papa would be too pleased to find out you’ve been getting jiggy with your cuz Daisy.) The lack of believability surrounding their relationship made it harder for me to root for them when they were separated; I almost didn’t want them to find each other just to mix things up a bit. It was far too predictable.

Director Kevin MacDonald did a mediocre job. He managed to put a unique spin on Young Adult fiction with not a hint of The Hunger Games or Twilight in sight. However, his bluntness that must have been descended from his documentary making roots gave the film a lack of momentum.  With the soppy teenage ‘boy meets girl’ storyline colliding with disturbing child violence the film doesn’t really know what it is. It’s just as confused as heroine Daisy who in my opinion carried the film; her performance was stronger than the film that contained it. Saoirse Ronan was the only reason I went to see the film and probably the only reason I didn’t leave.



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