How I Live Now (2013)

howilivenowposterBy: Henry J. Fromage (Three Beers) –

Kevin McDonald, he of The Last King of Scotland and Enter the Void fame, making a high concept teen romance?  What is this world coming to?

snooki and jwoww

Not good things… not good things at all

Saoirse Ronan (fuck yeah, Hanna and, umm… The Host) stars as an American teenager sent to Britain to live with her cousins by her shitty dad.  This is near-future, terrorist-beleagured Britain, however, and just as soon as she’s warming up to her new surroundings (and hunky cousin… yeah, that’s un-addressed) an unknown catastrophe throws the national into a state of martial law, and her family/love interest (really, nobody comments on it at all) into peril.

A Toast

Kevin McDonald has an excellent eye for aesthetics, and this is hands down his most beautifully shot and edited film.  Cinematographer (), of course, deserves some credit for that, but every technical detail of the film is top-notch, especially the handling of the excellent soundtrack.  The acting complements this well, although really Ronan shoulders the majority of that load.  Still, her chemistry with xx is excellent, and in only 40 minutes accomplishes what Twilight couldn’t in xx, deliver a believable romance that you actually feel some emotional stake in.


Ha, stake

What’s particularly admirable about this film, though, is that it zigs where just about every other teenage romance film zags.  McDonald is absolutely unafraid of making the hard choice, and going as dark as the story requires, which is probably why it isn’t playing on three screens in your local cineplex.  It’s also probably why this is far and away better than any film in the genre that has.  Kudos especially on that ending.

Beer Two

What is up with Saoirse Ronan and the voices in her head?  After the cinematic full-speed faceplant that was The Host, you’d think that’d she’d avoid scripts with massive amounts of inner dialogue.  Just like that film, it’s a device that most likely plays much better on the page than the screen, and here it’s a distraction even if you admire the impulse of trying to render a teenager’s complex anxieties, opinions, and fears audible.


Kill yourself. …  Try KFC’s new double Triple Double Down, now 99 cents at a location near you! … Joseph Smith is the one true prophet. …

Beer Three

In a weird way, this film isn’t horrifying enough.  It seems like they were leaving the odd trial or tribulation out, as for all the horror the characters do experience, it’s all over rather quickly, and wraps up in a nuanced but still overly tidy resolution.



The world needs more teenage romance/horrifyingly realistic distopian flicks like this one.


Drinking Game

Take a Drink: musical montage time!

Take a Drink: whenever the voices in Ronan’s head come back

Take a Drink: whenever the little ginger annoys up the place

Do a Shot: when this ain’t Twilight anymore (repeat for each raised stake)

About Henry J. Fromage

Movieboozer is a humor website and drinking games are intended for entertainment purposes only, please drink responsibly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!