Synopsis – Rosie and Alex have been best friends since they were 5, so they couldn’t possibly be right for one another…or could they? When it comes to love, life and making the right choices, these two are their own worst enemies.
My Take – I am probably the last guy on this planet to check out a typical rom com on the weekend, & frankly as I watched the trailer for this British film, I thought “I know exactly what will happen in this film.” But I like Lily Collins, so I decided to see it anyway. And I was quite right! the story progresses along the tramlines which are displayed in that trailer, so don’t expect any earth-shattering surprises. Considering how predictable the story is, it’s something of a miracle that the film actually works at all. Based on the 2004 romance novel ‘Where Rainbows End’ written by Cecilia Ahern, the story follows Rosie Dunne (Lily Collins), who has been best friends with Alex Stewart (Sam Claflin) since they were kids. They’ve always meant the world to each other, but have never become more than friends. They nearly got romantic on Rosie’s 18th birthday, but Rosie was way too drunk.
Hence at their high-school prom, they ask other people to the dance. Alex moves to Boston to begin his studies in medicine, and Rosie must stay behind due to an unexpected pregnancy. Over the next several years, she raises a child on her own, and he gets married. Through all of life’s changes and upheavals, they still pop up on each others radar, connected via e-mails, text messages and a bond that one suspects can never really be broken. That’s pretty much it, really – the outcome of the film is never in doubt, however long it might take to get there. Indeed, one problem with the film is that it does take a relatively long time to get to the point. The longer it goes on, the harder it becomes to buy into the various situations, events and misunderstandings that conspire to keep Alex and Rosie apart – whether it’s his marriage or hers, the rekindling of old relationships. However, as in all romantic comedies, it’s the whole journey that truly matters. The film takes the audience through the ups and downs of their relationships and how it affects their friendship over the years. Things didn’t happen the way you expected them to be on some occasions, which is rather surprising and refreshing at the same time. The film is filled with occasionally nice witty jokes and heartwarming moments, combine with charming, likable performances from the lead characters. Lily Collins and Sam Claflin have an easy chemistry & are very likeable. The supporting cast is good.
However, I have to admit that there’s a rather unrealistic depiction about this “friendship” – men and women can’t be close friends because the sex part always gets in the way (A famous quote from another romantic comedy film, When Harry Meets Sally…). In reality, it’s virtually impossible that a beautiful, attractive young lady can be close friends with a strikingly handsome man without hardly any sexual tension at all, especially when both of them are heterosexuals and they’ve never think of each other as siblings either. And yet, for all its plot problems, it is one of the most charming affair. There’s some real depth to the relationship between Rosie and Alex, one which transcends both friendship and romance in unexpectedly touching ways. On the whole, Love, Rosie have the same typical flaws that many romantic drama comedies have: several unavoidable cliches and contrivances, a predictable ending, but still the film succeeds in finding the heart and soul for its characters for the audience to relate with, despite its shortcomings. It’s a lovely, heartfelt film that doesn’t disappoint and it’s well worth a watch.
Director – Christian Ditter
Rated – R
Run Time – 102 minutes