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By Zack Haddad | January 20, 2008

The big question has always been: what would you do if you found out how much time you had left to live? Amy Redford poses this question in her directorial debut “The Guitar,” telling the story of how one woman spends the last two months of her life. To be brutally honest, there are many other things I would rather do with my final days than sit through this clichéd mess all over again.

Melody Wilder (Saffron Burrows) discovers that the tumor in her throat is cancerous and inoperable, she is fired from her job and her boyfriend dumps her. She then decides to indulge herself for the last two months of her life by buying a new loft, eating as much as she can, and buying expensive things. In a nutshell, this is the entire movie, which was a problem for me because all she really does is buy stuff and hang out in her swanky loft.

It was, simply, boring to see Mel constantly buying stuff and eating. I got the point the filmmaker was trying to make right away and thought it was pointless to see every little transaction. On top of that, the script is atrocious. Amos Poe’s screenplay seems like it was taken right out of a film school class first draft exercise.

I may come to expect a character to find out they have cancer, get fired, get dumped, and then try to kill themselves in student films, but not something on this scale. The rest of the story is pretty contrived, it even ends happily (what!?!). My big question is: would a woman really be holed up in an apartment for her remaining life if she found out she had a limited time left?

Saffron Burrows gives a stunning performance and it is a change of pace to see her in a film like this instead of more stuff like “Deep Blue Sea.” Also, I have to commend Redford on doing a semi-decent job on directing since she hasn’t directed much in the past. Other than that, I don’t have anything nice to say about this film.

It is a real shame that this film didn’t turn out better since Amy Redford has some potential as a director (and it doesn’t hurt to be the daughter of the Sundance Kid), yet this film is just way too flawed to even bother with.

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