Life can often be full of surprises. Oliver's (McGregor) life starts to undergo profound changes when his father (Plummer) declares himself gay, then discovers he has terminal cancer. After his father's death he is further surprised when he falls for Anna (Laurent), but dealing with the emotional upheaval of his father's passing causes problems with the new relationship.
This is a nicely observed character study, with a decent touch of humour and a story that goes somewhere. Throughout the story all the characters really develop, especially McGregor who shows how good an actor he really is. Christopher Plummer gives a top notch performance as the newly confessed gay Hal, who then goes on to fully embrace every aspect of his new life, and to extract every last drop of fun from it while he can.
While Plummer and McGregor are top billed, the star of the show has to be Hal's dog, Arthur, who gets some of the best lines in the film...
It would have been so easy to be heavy handed with this subject matter and produce a leaden intense drama, but the light touch from both director and actors makes this a charming and easygoing experience that leaves you refreshed. It might be a light touch, but it certainly isn't lightweight. And while it is funny in places, this is contrasted (as many of the best comedies do) with extreme sadness. It is a textured, thoughtful experience that, while never going to sweep the awards, is a worthwhile film to watch. 4 stars.