Four friends, who met in high school and are bonded by an event, are suddenly forced back together when one of them suffers a crisis. It’s a story of love, forgiveness and the incredible bond between women.
Lifelong friendships are not something that can be manufactured or created, they must be earned. “If Not Now, When?” is a movie about four adult women who are in their third act in life. They have been connected since their teens, went through great traumas and disappointments before the end of their twenties, and are now figuring out what life can look like when they are ready to be in charge of their decisions in their thirties. They grow and reconnect and display a truly remarkable maturity in communication that is often lacking in cinema depictions of adult female friendships. There is no shock value here, it’s a drama grounded in realism, organic pacing, and stellar performances.
“You’re supposed to want what you want, there’s no rules.” Actress Meagan Holder’s character Deidre gives great advice to a friend spilling years of pain and embarrassment over her tattered life. This is the advice of a mature adult. “Life is a whole lot of grey.” This film proves beginning to end that hard conversations are worth the trouble, self examination is always in fashion, and we all need friendship to help us find our way. No one is leaning on their romantic partner to the degree in which they lean on and demand from their best friends. We find these women in the middle of surviving and we see how a loving friend helps us take important steps towards thriving.
The cast makes or breaks a relationship drama, each and every single character couldn’t be better cast unless is was written specifically for these wonderful women. Patrice gives us energy, she takes care of her people, she’s the rock, actress Tamara Bass (Boston Public, Baby Boy) brings a charm that gives her aggression the cuteness it needs to hold up comic relief moments. Suzanne gives us command, I believe her royalty has backstory, actress Mekia Cox (The Rookie, Once Upon a Time) digs right down into the vulnerability and shatters our fantasies and surprises us throughout. Tyra gives us grit in her stubbornness, her circumstances set the framework to catapult these women together, actress Meagan Good (Think Like a Man, Minority Report) organically uncurls her fists just to tighten again and break our hearts. Deidre gives us heart, her thoughtful and cautious life built through resilience, her soft touch bringing everyone back together, actress Meagan Holder (Pitch, UnREAL) is mesmerizing as the steady and reliable functional adult in the room with handling life’s ups and downs with grace.
Writer/director and powerhouse Tamara Bass and director Meagan Good cast this piece perfectly, featured well placed beautiful music, found amazing young actors (Lexi Underwood, Niles Fitch, and more), and created an incredibly grounded and thoughtful movie that I highly recommend watching with some good friends. It is a little long for a talking heads drama, so keep the bottle of wine close and find a well timed snack refill break. The conversations that follow will be tough. The choices of the characters might even expose issues in your own life. And you really have to pay attention to figure out some of the names and personalities that start us on the journey, so feel free to ask your partner “Wait, which one is she?” when placing the adults with the teenagers with whom we are introduced. But overall, the cinematography is intimate, simple, and beautiful. The story is relatable and makes you fall in love with every person on screen. The romantic counterparts are bringing just as much charm and energy to match our ladies. And I will definitely be first in line to see these women in their next act, I want to see where they go from here.
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