Dealing with life is difficult. It’s even more difficult when your childhood and upbringing are less than perfect. But what do you do if someone you love just can’t take it anymore?
Just Say Goodbye is a powerful and heartfelt story about suicide and friendship. Sarah (Katerina Eichenberger), with a future in front of her and excited for a summer holiday is forced to deal with the impending suicide of her best friend Jesse (Max MacKenzie) after he reveals he plans to take his life.
Low budget from the first frame, and with no signs of getting better, Just Say Goodbye is true indie. The cameras shake, the sound is up and down, and the secondary characters feel like they’re in a panto. Yet, Just Say Goodbye astounded me. Five minutes in I was invested, five minutes in and Sarah was the greatest human being Id ever met.
This triumph is in equal parts due to the honest and believable script writing, the well thought out cinematography, despite the budgetary and clear equipment restrictions, but also the terrific performances by the main cast. Eichenberger as Sarah created such a real portrayal of a friend in trouble,that anyone going through these sort of moments could relate.
MacKenzie as Jesse blew me away with a sense of sarcastic melancholy whilst William Galatis who played his father showed a character arc unlike any other. Director Matt Walting has given Just Say Goodbye a touch of Larry Clark‘s Kids, but with perhaps a teensy more hope than that particularly depressing portrayal of real life teens.
Ending montages, and (word for talking on your own) are not something I’m usually fond of unless they’re done right. The ones in Just Say Goodbye, though not perfect have a tint that I can’t ignore. Matt Walting, who directed Just Say Goodbye is one to watch. Although not as comedic or light as Edge of Seventeen, as teen flick as The Art of Getting By it does bear a resemblance to its higher production indie cousins.
Just Say Goodbye has many touches of the art of getting by, though it arguably lacks a more relatable and lighter side. My main criticism could be this lack of any potential joy, or one that lasts longer than ten minutes, but maybe that’s why it has so much impact. It doesn’t sugarcoat suicide in anyway, not does it have the melo-drama and gossip girl nature that came along with the Netflix series 13 or whatever.
Tearful, is how I’d describe Just Say Goodbye in one word, I would only add that Just Say Goodbye deserves and needs a wider release.
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