Bright Side of Life
Martin Sharp (Pierce Brosnan) had it all; a wife, children and a career as a TV presenter and then he made a mistake with someone who it turns out was underage. It is why on a wet New Years Eve he climbs the stairs carrying a ladder to the top of Fleet Tower with a plan to jump and end it all. But it seems he is not alone as Maureen (Toni Collette), Jess (Imogen Poots) and JJ (Aaron Paul) have all planned to do the same. Well no one commits suicide that night despite ending up at a hospital and these 4 strangers having made a pact not to kill themselves till Valentine's Day suddenly find themselves big news but also becoming friends as they try and get through the media attention together. That is until a turn of events and a revelation leads to their friendship breaking.
A comedy about 4 strangers who all end up in the same place at the same time to commit suicide, how does anyone come up with such a strange idea. Don't get me wrong it is a good idea but a strange one although one which screams out as a black comedy which "A Long Way Down" gets very close to at times. At times is actually quite apt to use when reviewing as it is a bit of a hit n miss movie as it switches back and forth between being funny and touching.
The thing is that "A Long Way Down" is a movie which is all about the reveals from the outcome of Martin carrying a ladder up all the stairs at the tall building to discovering Maureen's home life and why she wanted to jump. As such it makes "A Long Way Down" difficult to review as the movie is less about how the whole thing ends but the moments along the way as we get to know Martin, Maureen, Jess and JJ whose reason for wanting to die is not as it first seems.
What I can say is that the casting is spot on with each one of the main stars playing their individual characters so well with Pierce Brosnan bringing plenty of comical ego to the role whilst Imogen Poots brings plenty of spoilt rich girl seeking attention to the role. And I could go on because the innocence which Toni Collette gives Maureen and the conflict which Aaron Paul gives JJ makes him sympathetic.
What this all boils down to is that "A Long Way Down" ends up a surprisingly entertaining movie but it is one which is at times a bit hit and miss as it switches between comedy and soul searching.