Annette Bening

'Life Itself' review: From 'This Is Us' creator, an emotional mugging

'Life Itself' review: From 'This Is Us' creator, an emotional mugging

Not to be confused with Roger Ebert’s autobiography, or anything good, actually, “Life Itself” is an emotional mugging, not a movie. Writer-director Dan Fogelman, creator of NBC-TV’s warm bath of feels “This is Us,” tells his story in five chapters and a million platitudes. When a key character admits he’s “smothering,” it’s not just his fictional self he’s acknowledging; it’s the entire greezy script. Meanwhile, on the soundtrack, Fogelman exploits “Make You Feel My Love” (from “Time Out of Mind”) with such ruthless sensitivity, when Bob Dylan’s song is reprised in Spanish, the movie becomes a convicted pathos felon in two languages.

Briefly, because life (itself)...

63°