They had me at, “When I ask you out it’s gonna be the most important moment of my life.” From that moment in the Life Itself trailer onward, I was a mess. The point of the Life Itself trailer is to make you cry. Making people cry – me, especially –seems to be Dan Fogelman’s mission in life.
Dan Fogelman is responsible for This Is Us and as Lainey pointed out when she wrote about Life Itself’s first trailer, it seems to be heavy on the emotional manipulation just like our Tuesday nights with the Pearsons. I am easily emotionally manipulated and I love a good cathartic cry so I’m not mad at this.
Life Itself has all the classic Dan Fogelman elements in place for a good ol’ weep fest. There’s the interlocking storylines (Dan also wrote Crazy, Stupid, Love), the perfect couple everyone is rooting for (Oscar Isaac and Olivia Wilde), the wise older voices of reason (Mandy Patinkin and Annette Bening), the poignant voiceover and the inevitable tragedy. We know there’s a tragedy because halfway through the trailer Oscar Isaac is sporting a Sad Man Beard and Olivia Wilde disappears. The trailer doesn’t give us much but it does hint that something horrible is going to happen to Olivia just when we start to fall in love with her chemistry with Oscar. I’m convinced that Oscar Isaac could have chemistry with a stir-stick so it’s no surprise that he and Olivia Wilde look like they are going to be delightful and devastating together.
Like This Is Us, it looks like Life Itself will follow a similar time-jumping formula. My guess is that Antonio Banderas plays a relative of Oscar Isaac (dad, grandpa?) because there is no world, no matter how fake or post-racial, in which Mandy Patinkin and Annette Bening give birth to Oscar Isaac. So, Olivia Cooke plays a young Olivia Wilde? Or the daughter she doesn’t get to see grow up? I’m going to cry again. I’ll stop trying to spoil the movie. If I know Dan Fogelman, there will be TWISTS. Tear-jerking twists! So many plot turns designed to hit you right in your lacrimal glands. I am going to fall for every single one and be a blubbering disaster in the theatre. Will you?
Life Itself is out on September 21st.