If Anything Happens I Love You brings the tears and a whole lot of awareness to gun violence and school shootings.
This understated Netflix animated film, mostly filmed in black and white, has even been turned into a TikTok challenge. Viewers have to film their reaction before and after watching the short, but without spoiling the story. If Anything Happens I Love You is supposed to make most viewers burst into tears in less than 12 minutes. Some TikTokkers take it as a cathartic experience while others struggle to watch it without shedding a tear.
Behind the viral sensation hides a universal topic: grief. Thanks to original aesthetics conveyed by drawing, the silent film relates the life of two parents grieving the loss of their daughter. The viewers understand quickly that a tragedy has occurred thanks to the soundtrack, notably the song “1950” by King Princess, played at a key moment during the film. “They [directors] were able to capture the theme of grief in a way that transcended animation and transcended film which is so rare to experience,” said actress Laura Dern, executive producer of the short film, to Variety.
We eventually understand that the young girl has been killed during a school shooting; the title of the film are her last words that she texted to her parents. “Jayme Lemons and I wanted to leap on board as executive producers and support [writers and directors] Michael Govier and Will McCormack in any way we could to have as many people as possible experience the film, not just because we love the film, but we are also involved in Everytown for Gun Safety,” added Laura Dern.
This nonprofit organisation advocates gun control and fights gun violence in the USA.