To Write Love on Her Arms (film)

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To Write Love on Her Arms
To Write Love on Her Arms film poster.png
DVD cover
Directed by Nathan Frankowski
Produced by
Screenplay by Kate King Lynch
Story by Nathan Frankowski
Music by Joshua Lujan Loveless
Cinematography Stephen Campbell
Edited by
  • Nathan Frankowski
  • Gordon Grinberg
  • Two Streets Entertainment
  • Birchwood Pictures
  • Noble Pictures
  • Valencia Motion Pictures
Distributed by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Release date
  • March 11, 2012 (2012-03-11) (Omaha Film Festival)
  • March 3, 2015 (2015-03-03) (United States; DVD)
Running time
102 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $3.4 million (estimated)

To Write Love on Her Arms (also known as Day One; formerly Renee) is a 2012 American biographical drama film written and directed by Nathan Frankowski, starring Kat Dennings, Chad Michael Murray, Rupert Friend, Juliana Harkavy, Corbin Bleu and Mark Saul. The film is based on the life of troubled teenager Renee Yohe and the founding of To Write Love on Her Arms by Jamie Tworkowski, after he and others helped Yohe to overcome her challenges enough to be able to enter rehab. The film premiered on March 11, 2012, at the Omaha Film Festival, and was eventually released on DVD on March 3, 2015.[1]


It is 2006, and 19-year-old Renee Yohe has always loved fairy tales: the idea of a princess, a hero and a happily ever after. But her life is that of a darker tale. As she battles with drug addiction, manic depression, self-harm and other life issues, she receives love and support from numerous friends and new acquaintances, including Jamie Tworkowski and David McKenna. When Yohe is turned away from drug rehabilitation, with open wounds from self-cutting making her too great a treatment risk, McKenna takes her into his home for five days of detox, while Tworkowski posts an article on Myspace, titled "To Write Love on Her Arms" (in contrast to Yohe having written "Fuck Up" on her arm, with a razor blade), to fundraise the cost of rehab.[2] Their efforts for Yohe are successful, and leads to Tworkowski founding the charity group To Write Love on Her Arms, offering similar support to other depressed, suicidal, self-harming drug addicts.[3]


  • Kat Dennings as Renee Yohe
    • Lindsey Riesen as teenage Renee
    • Isabella Iannuzzi as young Renee
  • Chad Michael Murray as Jamie Tworkowski
  • Rupert Friend as David McKenna
  • Juliana Harkavy as Jessie, Renee's best friend
    • Samantha Castro as young Jessie
  • Corbin Bleu as Mackey
  • Mark Saul as Dylan
    • Drayton Ball as young Dylan
  • Rus Blackwell as Conrad Willard
  • Sri Charan as Robert
  • Brian Patrick Clarke as Tom Yohe
  • West DeLarosa as Michael
  • Kristi Engelmann as Amanda
  • Whitney Goin as Dena Yohe
  • Katherine Shepler as April Yohe
  • Ryan Kirkland as Kirkland
  • Michelle LaBret as Nikki
  • J. LaRose as Echo
  • Steve Robertson as Label Rep Stevo
  • Brianna McCoy as Lacey
  • William Peltz as Sean
  • Juan Santos as Michael's father
  • Michael Sapp as Trappy
  • Chelsea Talmadge as Sarah



Josh Lujan Loveless, Bob Massey, Jamie Tworkowski, and Renee Yohe all served as story consultants for the film, collaborating with Frankowski for the script. The film is produced by David Blair McKenna, a long time friend of Yohe's who provided her his home as a place to get sober, as depicted in the film, so she could enter rehab.[4]


Principal photography started on February 23, 2011, exactly five years after Yohe and Tworkowski first met.[5] Filming went until March 29, 2011, and was shot entirely in Yohe's home town of Orlando, Florida. Various scenes were shot at Valencia Community College, The DAVE School, Full Sail University and Wall Street Plaza.[4]


The film features songs from Travis McCoy, Paper Route, Rachael Yamagata, Dead Man's Bones, Corbin Bleu, Between the Trees, Kye Kye, Flint Eastwood, Flagship, Gatlin Elms, Duologue, Danny Leggett, Civilian, Savannah, Alex Bennett, and Bearcat.[6]


The film opened the 21st Florida Film Festival on April 13, 2012, playing at the Regal Winter Park Village.[7] The film was released directly to DVD three years later, on March 3, 2015.[1]


On November 27, 2014, the film was leaked onto several peer-to-peer file sharing websites four months ahead of its intended public release. The film was one of five Sony Pictures films leaked, though fewer than 20,000 people downloaded To Write Love on Her Arms, compared to the 1.6 million combined downloads of Fury, Annie, Still Alice, and Mr. Turner.[8]

Awards and accolades[edit]

Year Result Award Category Recipients
2012 Won Omaha Film Festival Encore Award Nathan Frankowski, Kim Dawson, David McKenna, Two Streets Entertainment
Nominated Visual Effects Society Awards Outstanding Visual Effects in a Student Project Syrena Edmonds, Zack Heimbegner, Brian Mullen, Nathaniel Skinner
Won Crystal Reel Awards Best Actress Kat Dennings
Won Best Casting Amy Severson
Won Cinematography Stephen Campbell
Won Best Sound / Sound Mixing – Feature Film Michael Orlowski, Dave Chmela
Won Best Special Effects (CGI) Lee Stringer
Nominated Best Director Nathan Frankowski
Nominated Best Picture Kim Dawson


  1. ^ a b Unreleased Sony movies leak after hack; Sony may suspect North Korea. Network World. Retrieved December 4, 2014.
  2. ^ Jamie Tworkowsk (2006). "To Write Love on Her Arms". TWLOHA. Retrieved 2015-09-05. 
  3. ^ Goldberg, Matt (12 February 2012). "First Image and Set Photo from RENEE Starring Kat Dennings". Collider. Retrieved 24 September 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Chitwood, Adam (24 February 2011). "Filming Begins on RENEE Starring Chad Michael Murray, Kat Dennings and Rupert Friend". Collider. Retrieved 24 September 2012. 
  5. ^ "TWLOHA's "Renee" (Movie) Press Release". TWLOHA. February 25, 2011. Retrieved September 24, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Renee The Movie – Soundtrack". Renee The Movie. Retrieved 24 September 2012. 
  7. ^ Mathur, Samir. "Florida Film Festival 2012: RENEE". The Daily City. Retrieved September 24, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Sony's New Movies Leak Online Following Hack Attack". Variety. Retrieved December 2, 2014. 

External links[edit]