Written by Clara Guzmán
It is never easy to overcome loss and grief. But it can get even harder when the one you lose was who defined you as a person. This is exactly the point where we find Jo, the main character of As Good as You. But no worries: as sensitive as the topic might sound, this is not a drama. As it’s not exactly a comedy, either. At least, not a conventional one. However, both laughs and tears have a place in this movie.
After a year and a half of taking care of her, Jo now has to face the death of her wife. Devastated, she seems to have lost more than her partner has, for she can’t find any purpose in life. In order to get over her mourning, the 41-year-old decides to make a drastic decision: she wants to become a mother. As a preschool teacher, her wife Amanda loved kids and it was her dream to one day have her own. Now, it seems natural to Jo to fill her loss by making her dream come true. But there is a little issue: she wants no one else but Amanda’s brother to be the father.
After an initial ‘yes’, Amanda’s brother seems to be having second thoughts. And it might have something to do with the fact that Jo’s life appears to be such a mess at the moment. With her writing career in standby for now, her need for attention is making her take wrong decisions regarding her friends, Nate and Lisa.
Cleverly, the film not only focuses on Jo’s attempt to become a mother, but also on letting us know a bit more about Lisa, Nate and even Amanda’s brother, Jaime. Although Laura Heisler brings the required amount of despair and mess to the role, too much of this character would have made the movie a bit too overemotional for some tastes. Instead of that, the strength (almost rudeness) of Lisa, the humour of Nate, and the critical thinking of Jaime all make the film succeed in finding a balance between the humour and the drama. Annie Pott’s role as the counselling therapist brings the final touch of irony that the film needs.
Based on the script of Gretchen M. Michelfeld, whose wife died of cancer, As Good as You is inspired by this experience, and it was awarded Best LGBT film by the Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival. The award-nominated director Heather de Michele does the rest to create this movie about overcoming mourning.
As Good as You is now available on DVD and iTunes.