In Search of Spring

Kelly Rowan in Eight Days to Live (2006)

Teresa Spring (Kelly Rowan) has a busy life and her hands full dealing with her three teenage children as they are a diverse bunch always bickering. When their son Joe (Dustin Milligan) gets his licence back after having it suspended for being caught being a boy racing they agree to let him take the car and go to a party for the weekend on the proviso he calls at set points. But after losing his phone when he stops off to have sex with his girlfriend, Teresa and husband Tim (Shawn Doyle) begin to worry. With the cops unable to do anything the remaining Spring family come together as Teresa is convinced something is seriously wrong.

"Inspired by a True Story" are the magic words when it comes to made for TV movies as what it means they can try to gain the interest of those who are aware of the true story the movie is based upon whilst having the freedom to pretty much rewrite the story as long a the basic framework is there. Those words are what greet you at the start of "Eight Days to Live" and you don't need to do much digging to discover that whilst the basic story is the same there have been plenty of changes made to make it work as a movie from the events which Joe has on his trip to what time of year it is set at. And you know what there isn't anything wrong with doing that as sometimes a true story needs some extra elements to make it works as a movie.

Dustin Milligan in Eight Days to Live (2006)

So to "Eight Days to Live" well it is a movie with a few things going on although none of them that original. We have a mother's intuition as Teresa can sense something is not right, we have Joe's event filled road trip where he picks up a young boy at night and much more, the almost dysfunctional Spring family as people have issues with each other including Tim initially thinking that Teresa is overly worrying. It is all nicely done and the cinematography has a certain beauty about it even if it feels staged more than natural but it only ever feels good and lacking something to make it step in to becoming memorable and getting you to the edge of your seat in anticipation of what is going to happen.

Having said that there are parts of "Eight Days to Live" I will remember as some of it is incredibly forced and those bits stick out from the okay bits. I mean there are plenty of scenes where family issues are confronted such as when Tim is looking through their other son's photos of his band and when he asks where was he when they were being taken the whole conversation feels contrived to highlight how as a father he was always busy doing his things. It is a shame as with out those contrived scenes "Eight Days to Live" would have been steady but good.

What this all boils down to is that "Eight Days to Live" is going to work for some audiences better than others especially those looking for some sort of family coming together drama. But it has its issues and from contrived scenes to over manufactured beauty it only ends up feeling average.

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