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The Be All And End All Review

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Diagnosed with a terminal heart condition, Liverpool teenager Robbie (Bolt) resolves to lose his virginity before he dies. With his friend Ziggy's (Byrne) help he may just get lucky...

★★★★★

Quietly collecting awards across the festival circuit, Bruce Webb’s endearing feature debut is a tough old sell but a surprising success — a laugh-out-loud terminal disease movie. When teenager Robbie (Josh Bolt) is bundled into a children’s ward with a fatal heart condition, he ropes in best friend Ziggy (Eugene Byrne) to grant his dying wish — to lose his virginity. If this was Hollywood, Ziggy’s series of unfortunate pimping events would be grossly cornball. But it’s not — it’s inner-city Liverpool, and any mawkishness is shovelled over with earthy laughter and neo-realist grit. Largely, that’s down to Webb’s faith in his two young lads — both locals, with zero acting experience — who forge a teen friendship that’s warmly authentic and very moving.

It could have been terrible, but director Bruce Webb's comedy is affecting, funny and really very moving.