Rent You Can Live Forever (2022)

3.5 of 5 from 56 ratings
1h 33min
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In the sensitive and affecting coming-of-age drama 'You Can Live Forever', teenager Jaime (Anwen O'Driscoll) is sent to live with her devout Jehovah's Witness relatives after the death of her father. There, she makes an instant and unexpected connection with Marike (June Laporte), the daughter of a prominent Witness Elder, and the two begin a secret, unspoken romance. But when their attraction becomes too obvious to hide, the pair must face up to their desires and choose whether to stay wedded to their faith or break free from those around them.
, , , , , , , Marc-Antoine Auger, Jude Ferris, , Xavier Roberge, Lenni-Kim Lalande, , , , Juliette Gariépy, , Valentin Côté, ,
Mark Slutsky, Sarah Watts
Robert Vroom
Sarah Watts, Mark Slutsky
Pecadillo Pictures
Drama, Lesbian & Gay, Romance
Release Date:
Run Time:
93 minutes
English Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1
DVD Regions:
Region 0 (All)
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.78:1 / 16:9
  • Blooper Reel
  • Behind the Scenes Showreel
  • Cast and Crew Zoom Q&A
  • Script to Screen with Directors and Cast (UK Exclusive)
  • Trailer

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Reviews (2) of You Can Live Forever

Tender and compassionate illicit teenage love drama - You Can Live Forever review by PD

Spoiler Alert

Set in 1990s Quebec, this tender, delicate film concerns Jaime (Anwen O’Driscoll), a teenager who has recently lost her father and who, to help her grieving mother, has been packed off to a remote community where her Aunt, a Jehovah’s Witness, lives and where Jamie is expected to attend religious 'meetings'. Jaime is rebellious enough to smoke joints with her new school chum, Nathan (it's a pity we don't see more of him than we do as he is useful at letting us hear some of what is going through Jamie's head), but she is also remarkably respectful enough not to be critical of her aunt’s beliefs. Before long she's attracting the attention of Marike (June Laporte), the minister’s daughter, and the pair become firm friends – and, soon, something more than friends. The slow-burning romance is beautifully done, and captured well by the cinematographer Gayle Ye: their stolen kisses and side glances feel both intense and poignantly innocent, although the score is something of an irritating distraction. Recent cinematic representations of Jehovah’s Witnesses, notably in Dea Kulumbegashvili’s 'Beginning', Richard Eyre’s 'The Children Act' and Daniel Kokotajlo’s 'Apostasy', have, inevitably, not been kind, and this compassionate story, co-written and co-directed by the former Witness Sarah Watts shows a lot more understanding towards the community, (indeed, it's perhaps too generous). As Jaime and Marike go door to door with brochures, it becomes clear – long before the elders intervene with a surprising lack of force – that each has very different ideas of how their relationship will work. Mercifully, the film eschews some of the more extreme tropes of religious dramas, and understands that the real drama, the tragedy of a young person denying herself love in the name of God, needs no embellishment. But you'd love to be a fly on the wall when Marike, as promised to her soulmate, is explaining it all behind scenes - the scriptwriters aren't up to this, sadly, for Marike’s commitment to 'the truth' waivers just an unexplored fraction, her story seemingly ending as Jaime’s is beginning.

Though the beats of the narrative are fairly predictable and the dialogue is rather cliched at times, there's seriously good chemistry between the two lovers, and you definitely feel for them, especially Jaime, who shows an understanding of life well beyond her years and is admirably restrained (I'd probably have shouted and screamed at these soulless brainwashed androids and then burned down the chapel, but that's just me). Well worth a look.

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A fairly average film, but with two enchanting main performances that elevate the clichéd material - You Can Live Forever review by TB

Spoiler Alert

Films which deal with sexuality & religion, highlighting the tension and animosity, as well as often the need for any such same-sex attraction to be kept secret, have been produced for decades. They follow mainly the same storyline, with a few changes here and there.

You Can Live Forever follows this well-trodden path, but does have some positives that do elevate it above the standard clichéd mess. It is well-shot & the rural locations in the Canadian countryside are used to striking effect; the story itself is tightly written & edited, mercifully not overstaying it's welcome; but most of all, the performances from the two leads.

Like Disobedience (another excellent film looking at two women who fall in love within the confines of an extremely strict religious environment,) the two actors cast have great chemistry. They also clearly enjoyed working together, not only from the chemistry on screen but also the bloopers on the special features. Welcomingly, the film allows them time not only to be shown bonding but also being intimate together, in the sense that rather than showing the start of intimacy then cutting away, the film allows the love they have to be shown & evolve, which then makes it more believable.

An average film still worth a watch if you have a spare 90 minutes & don't want anything particularly challenging.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

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