Writer: Layla O’Shea (Screenplay)
Starring: Katerina Eichenberger, Max MacKenzie, William Galatis, Jesse Walkers, Pamela Jayne Morgan, Olivia Nossiff
Plot: Sarah slashes down the days to her summer vacation trip with all the gusto of Zorro and his infamous ‘Z’, until she discovers her best friend’s plot to end his life while she’s away.
Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Important & Genuine
Story: Just Say Goodbye starts as we meet two high school friends Sarah (Eichenberger) and Jesse (MacKenzie) who have been friends for years, since the day Jesse’s mum died. With the school year coming close to an end, Sarah is getting ready to spend time away from the town with her father in New York, leaving Jesse back in the town.
Just before the summer vacation starts Jesse reveals his biggest secret to Sarah, he is planning on killing himself during the summer vacation because he is tired of being treat badly at school, in the town and by his father. Sarah is left in the impossible position of figuring out why and how she can stop it from happening.
Thoughts on Just Say Goodbye
Characters – Sarah has been best friends with Jesse for years now, she spends her summers away with her father and is always the strongest of the two when it comes to dealing with bullies. She is left in an impossible position when he tells her his plans, forcing her to try and help no matter how much he doesn’t want to stop. Jesse saw his mother kill herself when he was young, his father turned to alcohol, his only friend is Sarah. He gets bullied at school and has decided that this summer he is going to end his own life. Rick is the father of Jesse, he turned to alcohol after his wife’s death becoming abusive towards Jesse. Chase has been bullying Jesse for years now and doesn’t care what the consequences of his action are.
Performances – Katerina Eichenberger and Max MacKenzie both have wonderful chemistry together, you can believe their bond as friends and can understand both sides of the emotions being dealt with. William Galatis makes the depressed abusive father feel authentic, Jesse Walters fills the bully role with ease too.
Story – The story here follows two high school friends that face a big decision after one has planned his own suicide while the other wants to do everything to stop this happening, leading us down the path of whether he will follow through or not. This story does deal with one of the most sensitive subjects in the world today, teen suicide. This is going to be one of the subjects people will not want to discuss as opening because they don’t know how to deal with the conversation, we do get to see how people will hide their problems from even their best friends. This story is a way to open up on the conversation, it is important and shows us just how depression can affect lives.
Settings – The settings keep us in the one town location, you get the feeling the high school student do just want to get out of their own lives.
Final Thoughts – This is a film that is important, we get to see one of the most difficult subjects out there and tackles it with the sensitivity required.
Overall: Must see film.