Gugu Mbatha-Raw is an LG favourite. We’ve been writing about how much we love her for years. For years, she’s been putting in the work. After Belle and Beyond The Lights, two excellent films that should have propelled her into superstardom, I’ve been waiting for Gugu to blow up. I’ve been waiting for her to cover Vogue or land a massive blockbuster and become a household name. The thing is, she has been in some huge films – Beauty and the Beast, Concussion and most recently, The Cloverfield Paradox. She starred in everyone’s favourite episode of Black Mirror and she’s about to play Dr. Kate Murry in A Wrinkle in Time. Based on that resume, she should be a legit star by now, right?
The Cloverfield Paradox was a disappointment unworthy of Gugu Mbatha-Raw’s talent according to Sarah’s review. As for her other films, she’s always paired with bigger celebrities. I still think Gugu should have played Belle in Beauty and the Beast but alas, that was Emma Watson’s vehicle (Gugu can sing circles around Emma, come at me.) For Concussion, it was all about Will Smith. Maybe Black Mirror and Doctor Who are too British to make you a star across the pond. She’s also a staple in ensemble films. A Wrinkle In Time’s cast is stacked and it was just announced that Gugu is in the upcoming Ed Norton-directed Motherless Brooklyn starring Bruce Willis, Alec Baldwin, Leslie Mann and Michael K. Williams, just to name a few. No matter how great she is in either of these movies, Gugu probably won’t get the praise. She’ll continue to fly under the radar casually as one of the best actresses of her generation.
The most impressive thing about Gugu’s talent is her range. What I loved about her in Belle and Beyond the Lights is that she proved she can be an enthralling romantic lead. She’s coming off a sci-fi horror film with Cloverfield Paradox and now, I just want to watch Gugu fall in love. Enter the Netflix original, Irreplaceable You. Gugu has been busy. Two days after Valentine’s Day, Netflix will drop this dark romantic dramedy about two madly in love elementary school sweethearts who find out one of them is dying. This movie is the kind of content I live for. Give me a Netflix romance and some Kleenex any day. If you’ve read basically anything I’ve ever written, you know I have a crying problem. When it comes to a movie like this, it’s not a question of *if* I’m going to cry, it’s *how much?* Lainey sent me the trailer for Irreplaceable You on a Saturday morning and I couldn’t get out of bed for 40 minutes. I was destroyed. Another sign this film is going to be good: it was directed and written by women (Stephanie Lang and Bess Wohl, respectively).
Irreplaceable You also stars Michiel Huisman, who you may recognize as Khaleesi’s ex on Game of Thrones, Sarah’s baby daddy on Orphan Black or from The Age of Adaline, the cheesiest romance of the decade/ the only Blake Lively standalone film (not including the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants franchise) I can tolerate. He’s looks a lot better with longer hair and a beard but he’s still adorable in this. Christopher Walken, Kate McKinnon, and Steve Coogan round out the cast. It’s a great cast but unlike the movies I mentioned above, there’s no one here who is going to steal Gugu’s shine. This is definitively her movie. I just wish it was coming out on Valentine’s Day (instead of the same day as Black Panther) and that, for the sake of everyone finally putting respect on Gugu Mbatha-Raw’s name, that it wasn’t a Netflix only release. We’ve seen how Netflix releases can get buried and I would’ve loved for this film to beat 50 Shades Freed at the Valentine’s box office. We’ll have to settle for watching Gugu Mbatha-Raw slay another role while the world continues to take her for granted.
Here’s Gugu Mbatha-Raw at the Irreplaceable You premiere in NYC.