By Darla Aguirre (Quezon City, Philippines)
Halfway through the film, I had thought that I wouldn’t like it so much. Well, it was because my initial impression on the film was that it would just show how this happy-go-lucky guy with vices suddenly falls in love with a brilliant girl with such kindness that he apparently doesn’t have. Simply, I had expected the overused “bad-meets-good-then-love-does-its-magic” kind of plot. Although that happened in the ending, it turned out that the movie had more than just a cliché love story.
Let me describe both characters. Sutter Keely sort of represents the stereotypical adolescent who goes to parties, drinks and desires to have fun all the time. Afraid of facing the common problems that can happen through socializing with people, such as hurting them, getting hurt, letting people down and failing, he runs away from them by trying not to feel them. He lives every day by focusing on what brings him pleasure and by living in the moment, free from worries about his future. On the other hand, Aimee Finicky, who helped Sutter after he’d passed out from his hangover one day, is a sweet, innocent teenager who takes schooling seriously and thinks about plans for the future. They epitomize the two major types of teenagers, and I think it was wise that the lovebirds were characterized in opposite ways.
Having Sutter meet a girl who lives her life differently from him showed how the way he deals with his doesn’t really do him good contrary to how he thinks it does. Because he embraces only the happiness that comes from every moment of his life, it ironically drops him down to his misery until he is left with nothing. He went out with Aimee initially intending to give her an experience that he’d thought would give her a fulfilled teenage life. After accomplishing that objective, he was supposed to let her go. However, Aimee fell for him and he gradually did too but he also believed that she didn’t deserve him for she was innocent. With that, they had fought the night Aimee got into an accident. After her recovery, they went back to normal though and looked forward to going to Philadelphia, according to her plan for the both of them. Unfortunately, things turned out the way I didn’t expect them to but the way reality made it — with Sutter not coming with her to Philadelphia without even giving her a notice.
Suddenly frustrated with how it affected him, Sutter eventually realizes that he’d screwed up as said in his essay for college admission. He realized that by shutting out the pain, he shut out everything. With his optimistic self still alive, he decided to look forward to another now, which refers to tomorrow, when he can start over and continue living with a better perspective of life. As a result, the film ends with him crossing paths with Aimee outside a college in Philadelphia.
This is why the cliché part of the plot didn’t stop me from giving the film a thumbs-up. How it managed to convey a realistic message without compromising the beauty of the film deserves a round of applause. The sad part of reality was exposed and so was the rainbow after the rain, and I liked that so much. It didn’t just slap a bitter truth on the audience but it also showed that things can still work out in the end