Love, Rosie: Movie Review
Cast: Lily Collins, Sam Claflin, Tamsin Egerton, Suki Waterhouse, Jaime Winstone
Director: Christian Ditter
From the "One time this lead would have been played by Hugh Grant" file comes this latest Brit romantic comedy, based on the Cecilia Ahern book, Where Rainbows End.
Alex (Claflin) and Rosie (Collins) have been best friends since they were 5 years old, but on Rosie's 18th birthday, a drunken kiss changes everything between them. Orbiting a will-they, won't-they trajectory, life and other loves find a way of setting their trajectories on other paths...
Love, Rosie follows the well-worn path of most romantic comedies; a pair of winsome leads, who try to generate chemistry by lots of stolen glances, aching near-lingering kisses and the fluffiest of situations.
It begins at a wedding with Collins' Rosie teetering on heartbreak and winds its way back through the most predictable and bland narrative fare you'd expect from the author of tear-jerker PS I Love You.
That's not to say there aren't some moments when the youthful exuberance and absurdly comic situations manage to slightly defy your expectations (Rosie's loss of her virginity providing some much needed comedy early on before the sappiness sets in), but this entirely saccharine movie knows exactly how it wants to play you and your emotions from the schmaltz-laden get go.
Claflin channels some Hugh Grantisms and looks like a dead ringer for Kris Marshall in places; but, like Collins, is blandly inoffensive as he negotiates the back and forth of marriages, mistakes and mis-timings. In among the occasional screwball interludes and saccharine minefield of babies guaranteed to get certain sections of the female audience cooing, there's the feeling that it's all too familiar to really stand out in the pantheon of rom-coms.
That, coupled with the fact that the peripherary characters that come in and out of our protagonists' orbit are so badly underwritten and cliched (probably a fault of the source material) that they never feel like a real threat or choice to Alex and Rosie's life decisions, means that Love, Rosie is as bland a romcom offering as you'd expect.
It's all perfectly pleasant and will hit its core audience squarely and perfectly, but I can't help shake the nagging feeling that it's not as sophisticated or as smart as rom-coms used to be back in the day...