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ALL MY LIFE: 3 STARS. “a romantic drama sugary enough to give you a cavity.”

If “All My Life,” a new tearjerker starring Jessica Rothe and now playing in theatres, wasn’t based on the real life story of a Toronto couple, it would be the kind of story Nicholas Sparks would write.

Jennifer (Rothe) and Solomon (Harry Shum Jr.) are a cute couple who meet-cute in a bar and seem destined to live a cute happily ever after. They like the same kind of cheesy 80s rock, they laugh and giggle while jumping into water fountains and say things like, “I didn’t know how much I could actually love before I met you,” to one another.

But keep in mind, this isn’t a rom com. It’s a romantic drama in à la Sparks, so I’ll stop using the word cute now.

There’s nothing cute (whoops) about Sol’s diagnoses of terminal liver cancer. Their plans for a December wedding on hold, their friends raise money and give them the day of their dreams as Sol’s health worsens.

“All My Life” is a three or four hanky movie where everything you think will happen, happens. But what it lacks in innovation, it makes up for with a certain kind of comfortable predictability. You’ve heard the dialogue before—”You make me feel Like I can do anything. Like we can do anything.”—and the group of BFFs are the usual kind of misfits who could have wandered in from any number of other teen dramas but when the movie focusses on the leads, Rothe and Shum Jr., it becomes less about cliches and more about the heart of the story.

The pair share a number of scenes that drive home the direness of the situation. Strongest is a heartfelt discussion about their future plans that closes with, “I am not your widow, I am your bride,” a message of true love that makes up for the manipulation of the earlier scenes.

“All My Life” is sugary enough to give you a cavity, but in its better moments it is a reminder to embrace life and roll with the punches, no matter what happens.

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