Forever Out of My League  Review: A Sweet, Disjointed Film About Friendship, Love, and Terminal Disease
Taking risks in life is an essential thing to do. Without ever putting yourself out of your comfort zone, you can never really discover yourself. ‘Forever Out of My league (Sempre più bello)’ does not and sticks to the formulaic approach easily palatable to modern audiences. The premise is about a girl, Marta, with only friends (Jacopo and Federica) for family and a distant grandmother, recovering from cystic fibrosis. After getting her new lungs, she is able to go back to normalcy. But as the wheel of life turns, things change. She moves in with her boyfriend, Gabrielle; her friends get on with life and start a rental. The state of things goes on well until the looming threat of the disease finally materializes.
‘Forever Out of My League’ is a follow-up to the 2021 film, Still Out of My League. The cast is mostly retained from the previous film barring the introduction of Giancarlo Commare. The sequel picks up from where the predecessor left off, but on a positive note that defines its protagonist. Positivity is something that pervades ‘Forever Out of My League’. So much so, that it becomes annoying after a while. The substance is glaringly missing. There aren’t any plot threads that are explored sincerely. Only fleeting moments of the characters’ relationships and personal lives are presented. It’s safe to the point of fault here, with Marta’s condition only being highlighted when it’s convenient narratively, and the ease with which roadblocks are cleared contributes to what I think is the entire trilogy’s most pernicious flaw – it’s safe in every sense. Even when we are told that Marta is seriously at risk of death, we seldom believe it, and it saps some of the potential poignancy.
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Director Claudio Norza mostly relies on the charm of the core cast to sail through. She is not wrong given how well they actually do but this makes the film hollow. The lack of any exposition does not sit well with you after you have finished watching it, though, considering the target audience, the sequel plays it safe by replicating the predecessor’s approach. Ludovica Francesconi is once again a marvel to look at. She brings an immensely likable quality to Marta and plays her to perfection. Granted that she is the centerpiece in the scheme of things, scenes without her just don’t feel the same.
The set designs feel modern and up to date. Although there are no pan shots that show the city and its beauty, the visual texture is an improvement. ‘Forever Out of My League’ feels breezy because of these small details. Like the costume design is alone something that will attract viewers. But on a more serious note, Netflix picks are more misses than hits these days. And there is a trend that seems to be taking control of the executive decisions. The targets seem to be teens and people in their young twenties who will either have a YOLO moment or take a ride back to the glory days riding on nostalgia. Put a bunch of good-looking people together – more often than not average actors, not in this case – make up a story that is just emotional enough to go well with the cheery setting and sit back and count the money.
This rant aside, the film is at least good for a one-time watch. Purely because of Ludovico and Commare’s performances and chemistry. Creators must rethink strategy and look to develop this into a television series. That idea would give the relatable characters more time and viewers more background to attach their experiences with theirs. In the current form, ‘Forever out of My League’ does not get me too excited. And stop with this terminal disease drama. It is not 2013 anymore. If only someone would give me a nickel every time a girl in a movie recovers from a terminal disease, relapses, and recovers again, I would be a millionaire. These tropes are killing the creativity in the industry and producing films that fail to add any value to the viewer’s life.
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‘Forever Out of My League’ works only in parts. The sequel seems more like an episode from a television series given its lack of seriousness about the three-act structures. The setup is watchable because of how well the cast gels together. But everything else is mostly flat. Or who knows, this might just be a setup for a third film? Let’s hope not!