UK Release Date: 22nd October 2014
Runtime: 102 minutes
Director: Christian Ditter
Writer: Juliette Towhidi
Starring: Lily Collins, Sam Claflin, Suki Waterhouse, Jaime Winstone, Christian Cooke, Tamsin Egerton
Synopsis: Two best friends fail to realise their love for each other throughout adolescence, until adult life starts to get in the way of them.
It’s easy to be snarky about romcoms. It’s even easier when they have a horrible “people defying gravity with leaning and cuddles” poster. With that said, it would be the simplest thing in the world to savage Love, Rosie for its commitment to the romcom formula, particularly as it adapts a novel by Cecelia Ahern of P.S. I Love You fame. However, that would do a disservice to a fun little movie that has its heart in the right place and its tongue firmly in cheek.
Rosie (Lily Collins) and Alex (Sam Claflin) have been best friends since they were kids. When she gets pregnant after a one night stand with Greg (Christian Cooke) and he earns a scholarship to Harvard, they are separated and must live their lives separately. With the help of best friend Ruby (Jaime Winstone), Rosie realises that she should never have let him leave.
The triumph of Love, Rosie is in its playful tone and sly sense of humour. This isn’t the sun-baked sizzle of a Nicholas Sparks adaptation; it’s wickedly sharp and, at times, genuinely hilarious. There’s a real mean streak to the humour that positions the film way above the standard romcom fluff market.
| "Sometimes you don’t see that the best thing that ever happened to you is right under your nose."
Responsible for delivering that tone is the effervescent pairing of Sam Claflin and Lily Collins. Claflin, fresh from The Riot Club, is having a hell of a year and does a great job here as the slightly smug, but ultimately likeable, smart-arse who finds himself shacked up with a series of increasingly attractive blonde women. Despite his apparent romantic success, Claflin does a great job of conveying his true feelings – he only has eyes for Rosie.
There’s no doubt though that Collins, who recently starred in barmy but boring Snow White tale Mirror Mirror, is the true star of Love, Rosie. She is brilliant at spiky, ribald wit and livens up the film with her presence. Jaime Winstone proves to be an equally impressive comedic sidekick, ensuring that the film is best when it’s set on this side of the pond.
The most surprising thing about Love, Rosie is how successful it is despite itself and its commitment to its genre. Every romcom cliché you can possibly imagine is present and correct, from airport dashes to awkward sex scenes, and it’s not a spoiler to say that the two have a happy ending. However, there’s something in the script and the performances that makes you genuinely root for and enjoy spending time with the two protagonists.
| "I’m your best friend. Get it yet?"
It’s difficult to define what it is that elevates Love, Rosie. There’s just a combination of factors at play that creates such a charm that it’s quite difficult not to fall for the film. The romantic clichés can be irksome and Suki Waterhouse fails to give her bimbo character any depth, but that all pales into insignificance at the achievements of Claflin and Collins.
Love, Rosie shouldn’t work on any level, but it just does. Must be something about British romcoms.
Pop or Poop?
Sometimes a film can get by on just charm. Love, Rosie is laden with clichés and has a finish so predictable that even the posters are basically an enormous plot spoiler. And yet, the film is a genuinely enjoyable experience.
The gags are funny, the emotion works and the central pair of performances are top notch. Some of the cliché goes a little too far and there are some weak performances, but there’s enough there to warrant a trip to the cinema.
Do you agree with my review? Let me know in the comments section.