You’d think that terrorists starting a war with the UK would be a terrifying prospect, but if Kevin Macdonald‘s How I Live Now is anything to go by, the modern idea of war is rather tame and frankly pretty romantic.
An American girl is sent to the UK to live with her relatives and manages to find love and purpose and become a little less miserable in the process. When war breaks out the family have to fight for survival and must go against the odds to try and reunite at home when the group is split up.
How I Live Now is an entertaining film but one that is probably best suited to teenage girls still reeling from the final chapter of the Twilight saga. Saoirse Ronan‘s painfully fake American accent soon becomes grating when surrounded by a predominantly British cast, who of course are incredibly stereotypical. There is very little to the film, the story is cliche, predictable and ultimately a bit something-of-nothing, the performances are nothing outstanding and it’s one of those films where you come away feeling empty and let down.
For a film with a pretty hefty storyline, not a lot happens. There’s very little evidence of war and there’s not much of an impending threat. We see the terrorists very seldom and at no point does it feel like there is much threat for our protagonists, so believing that they’re fighting for their lives is at times difficult. The love story between Ronan’s character Daisy and George MacKay‘s Eddie is far from endearing with its incestuous links and it’s almost as difficult to believe that the two are in love as it is to believe there’s a war going on.
How I Live Now has great potential and a misleadingly good trailer but it falls very short of the mark. Not a lot happens and although it’s reasonably entertaining and quite enjoyable it is ultimately something of nothing.