Everything in Between is a melodrama that hits pretty much all the familiar beats in the “tragic teen romance” genre but does so with enough style and skill that it never feels like a story well-traveled.

Jason Knight (Jordan Dulieu) is the lonely son of a wealthy family plagued with all the usual problems. His father, David (Martin Crewes), never wanted to be tied down and routinely cheats on his mother, Meredith (Gigi Edgley), who drinks to avoid thinking about her unhappy marriage. Neither of them were really ready to be parents, and their see-saw blend of selfish detachment and overbearing attention have resulted in a life that Jason can’t really call his own.

TW: Suicidal Ideation

When we meet Jason, he’s standing at the edge of a cliff, convinced the darkness he sees in his own life defines the rest of the world. He’s rescued by a good samaritan and eventually sent to a hospital where he meets Liz (Freyja Benjamin), a mysterious woman with a terminal ailment that can’t diminish her beautiful view of the world. Through Liz, Jason learns to appreciate the life he is able to live.

Look, yeah … this is another movie about a sad man meeting a woman who changes his life and then ultimately leaves him, having given him a reason to go on. For audiences wondering if it all boils down to her life being a lesson for his growth, well, yes. That’s the short of it.

The long of it, however, is a lovingly crafted story, shot with a real eye for both the beautiful landscapes of Sydney, Australia, and the intimate nature of Jason and Liz’s quick connection. Director Nadi Sha (who co-wrote with Grant Osborn) makes the most of the premise and creates a real reason to care about the two troubled lovers as they grow to understand their respective illnesses and prepare for Liz’s potential demise. It’s a thick melodrama that doesn’t play it subtle at any point, which is the right choice.

This type of film rises or falls on the strength of its romantic coupling, and Dulieu and Benjamin provide a strong center to the story. They’re hard not to fall in love with and you root for their success, even when it’s clearly not where the story is heading.

It helps that David and Meredith, although fitting into “bad parent” archetypes, are just as interesting and complex as their son and his lover. That’s not to say they’re excusable in their failings or even sympathetic, but they’re at least complicated and riveting. They’re lousy but they don’t want to be lousy, and their journey toward figuring out how to be there for their son is a satisfying B-plot.

You won’t anything new out of Everything in Between, but it’s nonetheless a gorgeous film, well-told and well-acted.