Don’t Make Me Go had its World premiere at the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival.
It’s a bold move for any film to warn viewers from the beginning that they may not like how the story ends, and ‘Don’t Make Me Go’ does just that. John Cho and Mia Isaac set the stage for this father-daughter relationship dramedy. It is an Amazon Original Movie, now streaming on Prime Video.
After learning he has a terminal disease, Max Park (John Cho) takes his daughter, Wally, across the country to attend his college reunion. Unfortunately, Max doesn’t tell Wally that his true goal is to have her meet her estranged mother for the first time.
As the plot suggests, there are road trip comedy elements to be had. There is a slew of coming-of-age drama sprinkled throughout. Cho and Isaac are incredible as a father-daughter duo, bursting with chemistry from their first interactions. Moments of Max trying to teach Wally to drive along the way will leave viewers reaching for a safety handle. In addition, their accidental trip to a nude beach doesn’t leave much to the imagination. As enjoyable and funny as these moments can be, the story takes pauses for Wally to deal with her high school relationship drama. Some of the third-act plot choices will leave audiences polarized.
Films need to take big swings, and ‘Don’t Make Me Go’ does just that at the cost of some enjoyment. Many of the film’s charm and sentimentality could be lost on viewers. Surprises are thrown out that could leave a sour aftertaste as the credits roll. Welcome side characters are included, such as Kaya Scodelario as Max’s current love interest, Annie, and Josh Thomson as Guy, Max’s old college buddy. Jemaine Clement is also here, wasted in a small, non-comedic role, but it’s nice to see him nonetheless.
I give ‘Don’t Make Me Go’ 3 out of 5 stars. It’s tough when you enjoy a film’s journey while not fully embracing the destination it led you to. Of course, it can’t be lost how endearing the performances and chemistry are here, but you must remember those things after feeling like you got unnecessarily swerved. ‘Don’t Make Me Go’ is now streaming on Prime Video.