Now available on Prime Video is a bittersweet drama/comedy that addresses the fact that people often take their lives for granted. Written by Vera Herbert and directed by Hannah Marks, Don’t Make Me Go follows a single father who loves his teen daughter dearly, but has often taken the safest routes when it comes to his life and the life of his daughter. When he becomes quite ill and must face his inevitable mortality, he sees this moment as an opportunity to bond with his child and impress upon her the reality that life is fleeting. At the same time, he still wants the safest possible route for her, but struggles with the fact that this path is not always the best one to get the most out of life.

John Cho stars as Max Park, a hard-working and dedicated single father to his daughter Wally (Mia Isaac). While Max has mostly lived a rather sensible and pragmatic life, high school student Wally has many “wild” ideas about how she can break free, and discover what the world has to offer. Max receives a major curve ball when he discovers that he has a bone tumor, where the spine meets the brain. And he has two difficult options. He must either agree to a very risky surgery to remove the growth, or refuse and get his affairs in order, as he has a limited time to live.

Refusing to take the risk with the surgery, Max decides to make the most of his remaining time and seizes the moment to make sure that Wally gets to know her estranged mother, whom she has never known throughout her life. When Max receives an invitation to his college reunion, he decides to use this trip as a chance to further connect with Wally and introduce her to her mother.

Don’t Make Me Go mostly works well with its blend of charming and sweet comedy and real-life drama. The filmmakers make some bold choices with this journey and most of which actually succeeds in delivering the movie’s messages. However, the filmmakers, in their boldness, go way too far with one of their choices and this element adds an unnecessary and mishandled twist that comes across as ham-fisted.

Regardless of this flaw, the acting by both John Cho and Mia Isaac work excellently to keep the audience invested in their story. The two share a lovely chemistry that makes their relationship as father and daughter credible and compelling. It is this connection and the realistic struggles to maintain the bond, despite the personal concerns of each individual, that keep this movie mostly grounded and absorbing.

Since this film has been relegated to a streaming release, I must recommend it. Had this been a theatrical release, I would not recommend it, until it had the opportunity for audiences to discover it in a format accessible in their homes. Don’t Make Me Go is still a charming piece of filmmaking and storytelling, but does have its flaws that come pretty close to derailing the whole affair. Thankfully, this is not the case, and their are plenty of great moments which manage to keep the film afloat.

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