Just Before I Go
Directed by Courteney Cox
Ted Morgan has been treading water for most of his life. After his wife leaves him, Ted realizes he has nothing left to live for. Summoning the courage for one last act, Ted decides to go home and face the people he feels are responsible for creating the shell of a person he has become. But life is tricky. The more determined Ted is to confront his demons, to get closure, and to withdraw from his family, the more Ted is yanked into the chaos of their lives. So, when Ted Morgan decides to kill himself, he finds a reason to live.
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★★★★ review by Matt Wooldridge on Letterboxd
I wasn't expecting much here. I'm always reluctant to sit down to any straight to video movie, and I assumed this film was the reason why Seann William Scott, one of my favourite actors, hasn't appeared in anything lately. But once I recognised some familiar names in the cast, I decided to risk it, and was ultimately well rewarded. It's exactly the film it sets out to be (I have seen so many like this fail), following Scott's character, determined to end his life, but before that, getting his house in order, so to speak, by returning to his home town to resolve issues he has with various people from his youth.
I was amazed how well the film could balance moments of drama with laugh out loud comedy, then I saw Courtney Cox's director credit at the end of the film and it made sense to me. She has done a great job balancing this tone, with some great actors that can accommodate both dramatic tension and comic timing. I knew I had seen Garret Dillahunt before, but couldn't place him, and he was the source of a lot of laughs thanks largely to the dysfunction within his family.
It was nice to see more of Olivia Thirlby after being impressed by her in 5 to 7, she and Scott share some strong scenes together. And good to see Rob Riggle get an opportunity to do more than just play a comedic cameo, showing that he can play it straight just as well as he can provide the laughs.
Scott of course gets to flex his dramatic muscles, in a role that echoes the one in The Promotion but pays off far better here. I find this guy hilarious and so it was nice to see him still given the opportunity to provide laughs on his downward spiral.
The final mix of the film could have been improved lifting songs out that didn't need to be in places, or at least dropping the volume on them, but that's my only gripe. They put together something very special here.
★★★★½ review by Matt Wooldridge on Letterboxd
I love this movie. Realised on the second viewing how much of an ensemble this is, as the script is concerned with the lives Scott’s central character touches on his journey to suicide. The cast is amazing. Scott is at a career best here, with Thirlby, Dillahunt, Walsh and Riggle bringing so much life to their characters. It’s a beautiful script from Flebotte, at times hilarious and moving, and Cox manages the tone perfectly. Easily one of my favourites.
★★★½ review by Derek Diercksmeier on Letterboxd
“The trick to beating fear is to live a life so full, there’s no room for it. Fear thrives in emptiness."
I love Courteney Cox. This is her feature debut and it's rather surprising. While not consistent or visually impressive, Just Before I Go is something delightfully unique. It is funny at times, but the film's sadness and emotional honesty is what really affected me. It sometimes slips into meandering silliness and tonal confusion, including some overly quirky story elements that just do not fit. However, the film's conclusion left me teary-eyed for a solid fifteen minutes. Seann William Scott is really great here, beautifully nuanced and far from his American Pie type. The entire cast is quite lovely. As flawed as it is, all that comes to mind now is what it made me feel.
★★★★ review by Mirthbound on Letterboxd
For whatever reason an actor's directorial debut tends to lean on schmaltz, so it's particularly refreshing that Courtney Cox manages to deflect a lot of that with crude humor.
★★★½ review by Cogerson on Letterboxd
Why I watched this one? I have enjoyed Seann William Scott in previous movies...so I gave this one a chance.
What is this one about? On the verge of giving up on life, a guy (Scott) travels to his hometown to make amends.
My thoughts on this one? This was a pretty entertaining movie..which was Courteney Cox's directorial debut. Movie has some nice moments and some solid supporting characters in this one. I enjoyed SWS in the lead role. Final thought: A quirky funny movie that might surprise you like it surprised me.
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