Life Itself is a 2018 American romantic comedy-drama film written and directed by Dan Fogelman. It stars Oscar Isaac, Olivia Wilde, Mandy Patinkin, Olivia Cooke, Laia Costa, Annette Bening, and Antonio Banderas, and follows multiple couples over numerous generations, and how they are all connected by a single event.
The film had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 8, 2018, and is scheduled to be released in the United States on September 21, 2018, by Amazon Studios.
The film has been met with overwhelmingly negative reviews. On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 11% based on 64 reviews, with an average rating of 3.8/10. The site’s critical consensus reads, “A mawkish melodrama that means less the more it tries to say, Life Itself suggests writer-director Dan Fogelman’s talents are best suited to television.”On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 21 out of 100, based on 24 critics, indicating “generally unfavorable reviews”.
Kate Erbland of IndieWire gave the film a “D”, saying: “Life Itself thinks you’re stupid. Or, if not stupid, unable to understand how a movie should work. It’s a movie made for people who can’t be trusted to understand any storytelling unless it’s not just spoon-fed but ladled on, piled high, and explained via montage and voiceover.”
The Wrap’s Robert Abele:
“By the end, when the connections are revealed (although easily predicted), and people have stopped getting hit by buses (also not kidding), here are many of the things “Life Itself” has ruined: Mandy Patinkin and Jean Smart as grandparents; the seriousness of mental illness; sassy baristas; Samuel L. Jackson (all over again); movie references; flirty post-coital talk; profanity; people-growing-old-in-seconds sequences; chapter titles for movies; olive oil. And to reiterate (a favorite tactic of the movie’s): Dylan; flashbacks; narration; love; death; your two hours.”