Jack Whilton (Maher), an estate planner, learns from a psychic that he is to die on his next birthday, so he becomes an agoraphobic shut-in, determined to prevent his death. Then he meets Audrey (Newman), a young woman in his building who is dying and asks him to help plan her estate. Through his relationship with her, he begins to learn how to live again.
Living 'til the End contains examples of:
- All Part of the Show: At the beginning, Cynthia wants to leave Jack for another man, so she pays off a psychic to reveal her "affair" so he will break up with her. When the psychic also predicts that Jack will die on his next birthday, Cynthia assumes that it's part of the psychic's schtick.
- Big Damn Heroes: Averted with Jack
- Chekhov's Gun: An almost perfect example
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Jack appears this way to everyone, due to his crippling phobias.
- Double-Meaning Title: At first blush, the title seems to be an exhortation to not give up on life, even in the face of inevitable death. After the film has ended, however, one realizes that the title also refers to Jack's state of existence...
- Downer Ending: Jack breaks into Audrey's apartment from the ledge just as she's about to shoot herself. Startled, she shoots him, this fulfilling the prophecy.
- Eating the Eye Candy: Melanie does this to Jack when he walks by and says hello to Audrey.
- Eiffel Tower Effect: In the montage when they are walking around Paris
- Kickthe Dog: What Jack's girlfriend Cynthia does at the beginning of the film. It is later revealed that she set up the fortune teller to tell Jack that she was having an affair, so he would break up with her. She tells him this, casually.
- Meaningful Name: Or rather, initials, as Audrey Gerson's initials are the same as Amanda Goodwin's.
- Once More, with Clarity!: When Jack and Audrey are on the plane, Jack is passed out and we see Audrey writing something. We assume it is a letter, or maybe even a start on her next book. At the very end of the film, we see the scene again and hear from a voiceover that Audrey is writing her suicide note.
- Prophecies Are Always Right: Jack dies on his birthday
- Shown Their Work: Executive producer Coco Ginsburg and lead actress Jaime Ray Newman spent months going to suicide survivor support groups to make sure they had Audrey's portrayal spot on.
- The Reveal: Right before the end, we learn that Audrey does not have a terminal condition. She is severely depressed, and all of the talk about dying and hiring an estate planner to put her affairs in order is part of a complex ideation of suicide. And apparently she has done this before.
- The Shrink: Dr. Shaw
- Uncomfortable Elevator Moment: How the romance plot is kicked off
- Wham Line: When Jack meets Melanie in the hallway, he offers consolation for Audrey's "condition." Melanie is uncertain what he means, so he clarifies, "She's dying." Melanie's response: "Not again!"
- Jack: "I killed my father".