To Write Love On Her Arms: How to Dance with the Demons inside Your Soul

“Life is perfect and then you ruin it”: if you find any truth in these words, you need to watch To write love on her arms. The film tells the true story of Renée Yohe, a troubled young woman whose struggle with addiction and self-harm inspired a movement and gave hope to thousands of people who are battling their inner demons every day…

To write love on her arms (2012): Based on the true story of Renée Yohe; running-time 1h 42mins.; starring Kat Dennings  (2 Broke Girls, Nick & Norah’s infinite playlist), Rupert Friend (Homeland, Lullaby for Pi), Chad Michael Murray (One Tree Hill, Agent Carter), Corbin Bleu (Highschool Musical).

What’s it about? The true story of Renée Yohe, a troubled young woman who overcame addiction with the help of her friends and inspired a movement of awareness for depression and self-injury.

What’s it really about? Sometimes it’s easier to save somebody than you would think. Even listening to music together, or painting a wall white, or sitting by their bedside holding their hand as they try their hardest to fight their demons can lighten their load.

Pick if:

  • You’ve been feeling hopeless and are looking for a film to shine a light in the dark. I watched this film at a time when I wasn’t in a great place emotionally and I felt so much better and more hopeful afterwards
  • You’ve ever struggled with mental problems, addiction, or self-harm: To write love on her arms tells the story of Renée Yohe, who inspired the movement TWLOHA and led to the founding of the NGO by the same name. TWLOHA dedicates itself to helping people like Renée seek help and find hope. Visit their website for more information. I also recommend reading the original piece Jamie wrote about Renée as it is beautifully written and speaks honestly about her situation
  • You love films that give emphasis to the use of music such as Nick & Norah’s infinite playlist, or tv shows like One Tree Hill or The O.C. (incidentally, the film stars Kat Dennings from Nick & Norah as Renée and OTH hunk Chad Michael Murray as Jamie Tworkowski, who founded TWLOHA in Renée’s honour)
  • Basically, if you’re the kind of person whose mood is instantly lifted whenever they hear music: since music was an essential part of Renée’s recovery, To write love on her arms boasts a great soundtrack featuring indie artists such as Delta Spirit and Between the Trees


Most memorable scene: The night before Renée goes to rehab her friends take her to an Open Mic night at a coffee shop where Dylan performs an acoustic version of Coldplay’s “The Scientist” in her honour.

Most memorable quote: Normally I would have put a quote from the film here, but instead, I wanted to share my favourite excerpt from Jamie’s story which really should have been featured in its entirety, to be honest:

“Take a broken girl, treat her like a famous princess, give her the best seats in the house. Buy her coffee and cigarettes for the coming down, books and bathroom things for the days ahead. Tell her something true when all she’s known are lies. Tell her God loves her. Tell her about forgiveness, the possibility of freedom, tell her she was made to dance in white dresses. All these things are true.”

Magic Music Moment: In the beginning of the film, Renée, Dylan and Jesse are seen entering their school hallway, setting their mp3 players to track #4 on their shared Monday playlist simultaneously. As they continue walking down the hallway, Travie McCoy’s “Akidagain” starts to play and Renée imagines her schoolmates singing to her like you would see in an R’n’B music video.

Where can I watch? To write love on her arms is avalaible for purchase on Amazon, Maxdome and iTunes.


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