Now Is Good

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Now Is Good
Now Is Good poster.png
Theatrical release poster
Directed byOl Parker
Produced by
  • Graham Broadbent
  • Peter Czernin
Screenplay byOl Parker
Based onBefore I Die
by Jenny Downham
Music byDustin O'Halloran
CinematographyErik Wilson
Edited byPeter Lambert
Blueprint Pictures
Distributed byBBC Films
Warner Bros.
Release date
  • 31 August 2012 (2012-08-31) (Los Angeles)
  • 19 September 2012 (2012-09-19) (United Kingdom)
Running time
103 minutes[1]
CountryUnited Kingdom
Box office$2,699,265[2]

Now Is Good is a 2012 British teen drama film directed by Ol Parker. Based on Jenny Downham’s 2007 novel Before I Die, it was adapted by Parker who had recently written the screenplay for The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.[3] The film, which stars Dakota Fanning, Jeremy Irvine and Paddy Considine, centres on Tessa, a girl who is dying of leukaemia and tries to enjoy her remaining life as much as she possibly can.[4]

The first trailer for the film was released on 5 March 2012.[4]


Tessa, a teen with terminal acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and her best friend Zoey fulfills an undisclosed bucket list before her impending death. One night, both attempt to engage in sex with their partner.

Tessa goes on a talk show with her over bearing single father where she pokes fun at her terminal diagnosis and approaches it with humor. Tessa is loving and caring towards her brother Cal whom she feels guilty for stealing her parent's attention and gives him days that are all about him while dealing with her father trying to treasure every moment he has left with his daughter while his mother is supportive, but is rarely there for her. Tessa gets the last of her chemotherapy equipment removed from her body so she can live the rest of her days normally. Tessa meets her new neighbor Adam who is taking care of his handicapped widowed mother while putting his own life on hold such as going to college, and Tessa instantly befriends him. Adam joins Tessa and Zoey on their adventures where he takes care of both of them while they take shrooms in the forest and finds great ocean side cliffs, followed by going to a party where Tessa and Adam start developing feelings for each other. Tessa and Zoey continue to fulfill Tessa's bucket list by stealing from a store, but while being caught and Tessa discovers Zoey stole a pregnancy test revealing she may be pregnant.

Tessa and Adam go to the beach together and begin a romantic relationship. Tessa introduces Adam to her father who disapproves the relationship due to the fact Tessa's health is currently in steep decline due to her stopping chemotherapy. Tessa's father berates Adam saying that Tessa is dying and thinks Adam is just wasting his time and causing more problems which causes Adam to leave. Tessa takes Zoey to a clinic where Zoey's pregnancy is confirmed with Zoey not sure if she will keep the baby.

Tessa and Adam attempt to go on a regular date, but Tessa breaks out in a huge nose bleed that leads to her hospitalization with a shocked Adam leaving Tessa with her mother to call 911. While she is hospitalized, Adam begins painting her name all over the city so when Tessa leaves the hospital she can see her name is all over the city fulfilling one of her bucket list items that everyone will know she existed leaving Tessa satisfied and smiling. Zoey reveals to Tessa she is keeping the baby and will be due in April of that year. Tessa and Adam begin spending every night together so Tessa won't be alone at night anymore and do it even after Tessa's father refuses the request due to their age and what Tessa is going through, but relents after Tessa reveals she is willing to take the risk despite the burden coming due to her impeding death.

Tessa visits her doctor who reveals that her cancer is causing her immune system to collapse and her life will soon end and reveals she will not make it to April to see Zoey's baby being born. Tessa leaves to find Adam to comfort her but finds out that Adam went to a college orientation where he is planning on going to in the fall. Tessa has a complete melt down in her room and destroys her room which reveals the bucket list painted on her wall hidden by a blanket. Her father comes home and sees her bucket list which causes her father to break down because she excluded him from helping her fulfill the bucket list over the fact he is losing his daughter and wants to spend as much time as possible with her, and Tessa comforts and apologizes to her father. Tessa escapes to the ocean cliffs where Adam finds her and they have a cathartic moment together where Tessa gives Adam her blessing to fall in love in college after her passing.

Tessa's health begins to deteriorate rapidly where her nurse tells her she will die in days. Tessa spends her last days dozing in and out of consciousness due to the drugs and cancer while spending her last days with Adam , her father, her mother, and her brother. Tessa has a series of day dreams where she lives a healthy happy life with Adam and her family. The day dreams are cut short with her family saying their final goodbyes to a barely conscience Tessa followed by another day dream of a healthy Tessa and Adam together on the ocean cliffs, which is followed by Tessa lying peacefully with Adam (presumably peacefully dying in Adam's arms) and one final day dream of Tessa meeting Zoey's baby with the final monologue that "life is a serious of moments, let them go. Moment's all gathering toward this one" with a healthy smiling Tessa holding Zoey's new born baby girl.



Now Is Good received mixed reviews from critics when it was released in September 2012. The Guardian awarded it two out of five stars and said that it "never really rises above being a collection of clichés, despite some decent performances".[5] Empire Magazine awarded it three out of five stars and called it an "uneven but ultimately effective weepie with terrific turns from Considine and Williams, who outshine the younger cast."[4] The Birmingham Mail said "If you're a fan of Nicholas Sparks' films – or fancy a good old weep in the cinema – then you could do worse than see this movie."[6] Total Film awarded it three out of five stars and said "You'll be in bits, but your critical faculties might weep too."[7] Norwich Evening News said "The film avoids all the sentimentality and gives you moments that seem uncomfortably realistic but it doesn't lose sight of the fact, while that it is a weepie, it is still an entertainment."[1]

Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a score of 58% based on reviews from 26 critics.[8]


  1. ^ a b Joyce, Michael (21 September 2012). "Review: Now Is Good". Norwich Evening News. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Hawken, Spencer (September 2012). "Interview With Ol Parker - Director Of Now Is Good". Views From The Edge. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
  4. ^ a b c Smith, Anna. "Now Is Good". Empire. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
  5. ^ O'Neill, Phelim (20 September 2012). "Now Is Good – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
  6. ^ Laws, Roz (21 September 2012). "Film Review: Now Is Good (12A) ****". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
  7. ^ Harley, Kevin (10 September 2012). "Now Is Good". Total Film. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
  8. ^

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