Jo shares an uncomfortable embrace with Jamie and follows him into the therapist’s office. They both acknowledge the elephant in the room that is their lurking nerves. Even though they are brother and sister in-law, their exchanges are like those between two strangers. In fact, they appear to be anything but two people ready to produce a surrogate child. Despite being miserable beyond belief, Jo is determined to have this child. “Oh God, Amanda where are you?” she lets out desperately, “What do I think I’m doing going through this all alone?”
When she lost her wife, Jo lost more than her will to live. As Good As You takes viewers through the various stages of grief that Jo faces after her wife’s death, along with her persistence to have a baby. Within each aspect of her life springs up confusion and toxicity due to her life-altering depression. She has a serious caffeine addiction, using this excess energy only to maintain a happy facade. She weeps when she holds yoga poses. She has excruciating writers’ block. She has become a disappointing friend. But who can blame her for being a drag, right?
OVID.tv’s As Good As You Conveys Grief at its Most Harmful Stage
As the film begins by focusing on Jo’s plight, and by being immersed into the day-to-day of a woman who is utterly broken, you are only getting to see one side to the story. However, the plot becomes more complicated when her friends unmask the secrets that lay beneath the surfaces. The story then shifts from being about a distraught widow to one in which everyone has a chance to play the victim card, often in a selfish manner. Not all dark, As Good As You also gives us moments of redemption, especially in the character of a young goofball Jamie, who reminds us that not all heroes wear capes. Your hero, like Jo’s, might come wearing glasses and working a tech job.
As Good As You is just as uplifting as it is gloomy, and as it paints a clear picture of an extremely low point and then the full, satisfactory circle that is the journey to navigate out of it. If you are an advocate for mental health or you know what it’s like to lose someone you love, this film might be for you. And surely anyone, regardless of background, will appreciate the punk mohawk, worn by Lisa, the character in this film whose appearance stands out the most.
Run time: 85 minutes
Director: Heather de Michele