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Release Date: 03/12/24 [Festival Run]
Genre: Drama.

Studio: Ace Entertainment. TeaShop Films.

[Seen at SXSW Film Festival 2024]

"It follows a teen who after being kicked out of the house by their parents, embarks upon a journey of self-discovery that teaches them about love, friendship, and family." 


I Wish You All the Best provides a new coming of age perspective, a genre that holds the throne for some of the most important films ever made such as The Breakfast Club, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and Booksmart.  Director / Writer Tommy Dorfman delivers a sincere narrative that captures a non-binary perspective and a powerful cinematic voice for those who are still opening their eyes to the gender-neutral world. 


Dorfman levels with their audience, supplying a sampling of different reactionary beings in one’s life as a non-binary individual. The remarkable script that managed to conjure up a range of emotion that I couldn’t help but feel enthusiastic, worried, and find a sense of humor in the harsh truths of our world. 


Wonderfully cast, Corey Fogelmanis’ Ben is quiet and reserved, slowly allowing themselves to open up throughout the film with the help of accepting friends and siblings. Fogelmanis is surrounded by quite the ensemble, Alexandra Daddario, Cole Sprouse, Miles Gutierrez-Riley simulate a real dynamic of acceptance and encouragement to be oneself. With the sweet, there must be a tossing of bitterness in the form of the overly religious parents of Ben and the estranged Hannah (Daddario). Every second on screen the mother and father of the siblings share, attributes to a tremendous amount of stress at the manipulation the pair are trying to pull to avoid the reality of their child’s identity. 


Daddario and Fogelmanis offer a heartfelt sibling connection that comes across entirely true. The relationship evolves as their newly established bond continues and their time apart from each other, which is said to have been caused by lies of one another from their parents, doesn’t hold back the love the two share for one another. In their parent’s forcing Ben out of their home, they are able to find themselves in their new life away from the abuse of those who raised them. In this fresh start, Ben meets Nathan (Gutierrez-Riley), who makes them feel welcome inside their inner circle of friends: Sophie (Lisa Yamada) and Meleika (Lexi Underwood). As Nathan and Ben spend more time together in and out of the circle, they become infatuated with one another and their friendship blossoms into something more. 


Along with their new friends, Ben also has encouragement and unexpected therapy through art in their class, which seems to only have one student and a teacher. Nonetheless, the companionship between our lead and teacher is reminiscent of that of the delightful connection Woody Harrelson and Hailee Steinfeld shared in The Edge of Seventeen


The storytelling and the direction share an almost effortlessness, embodying a cohesive, well thought out undertaking, albeit not entirely flawless. Minor issues can be claimed for a lack of screen time for several supporting individuals, Ben’s friends for one, apart from their love interest as well as a dire need for a bit more elaboration on the work they’ve chosen to perform with the elderly and its worth to them. What begins as a job to help out their sister, is tossed aside for larger story beats. These may come across as more nitpicks than criticisms, since these are small aspects of the story, but even so they should have been explored more thoroughly to allow for even more time to witness Ben discovering what makes them, them.

There are films out there that truly champion the LGBTIQA+ community (Moonlight, Shiva Baby, Love, Simon) and are essential viewings for those within, as well as those wishing to be an ally. I Wish You All the Best is bittersweet in translating a singular experience of someone who identifies as non-binary and their search for self discovery, has cemented itself among these other films as one of this genre’s finest.

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