There are some films that adhere so closely to type that you know everything about them the moment the trailer has ended: characters, relationships, goals, dreams -- all are revealed in those two minutes. And you know, too, if this is a movie you want to see because it will move you to tears with its well-loved cliches, or if those same cliches will fill you with rage, and you need to avoid it like the plague. Gaby Dellal’s On a Clear Day is one of those films.
If you’ve seen The Full Monty, you’ve seen On a Clear Day. Hell, if you’ve seen Brassed Off, you’ve seen it. Or even Calendar Girls. Like those films, it’s just what it appears to be: a heart-warming story about someone who is hit with bad news, and hatches a crazy plan which, though he might not know it at the time, will restore not just his self-worth, but also the love of his drifting, distant family. It’s never surprising, but it doesn’t want to be; in fact, the whole thing is shamelessly tear-jerking and cliched, and also, impossibly, immensely likable.