<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>
Directed by Christian Ditter. Starring Lily Collins, Sam Claflin, Christian Cooke, Jaime Winstone, Suki Waterhouse, Tamsin Egerton, Jamie Beamish, Lorcan Cranitch, Ger Ryan
Sadly, there’s only one film this Valentine’s season and of such poor quality that you’re better off going back to some of the romantic classics (listed below).
Romantic movies are ever so popular. Remember the ones with Hugh Grant in them? And Love, Actually? And all those American romantic movies with Julia Roberts are classics too. Shame we don’t have actors of that calibre anymore nor stories that can get us all warm and fuzzy inside. Instead we have to deal with all this horrible ‘young adult fiction’ stuff and ‘based on true stories’ or ‘based on the book by so-and-so crappy author out to make movie money by selling their souls’.
Lily Collins is no Andy MacDowell and Sam Claflin is no Hugh Grant, that’s for sure. Though Claflin talks a bit like good ol’ Hugh he lacks the light-hearted brilliance of the man. And Collins is just well, bland.
In Love, Rosie, the two are childhood best friends in a small town in the UK – Rosie Dunne (Lily Collins) and Alex Stewart (Sam Claflin) – who love each other deeply and do all the right things together but somehow never have the guts to go on a date. Hard to believe in this day and age. So Alex goes off to Boston to learn medicine and he thinks Rosie will join him soon but she has a baby from another guy who runs off. Alex eventually finds out but he already has a girlfriend and they live different lives now.
And… I’ve gone blank all of a sudden. Well something happens and Alex is single but then Rosie’s runaway father-of-her-daughter Greg (Christian Cooke) returns and then I think Alex finds someone to live a perfect life with in Boston and then Rosie marries Greg. Alex has problems with his new girlfriend and then a pregnancy is announced but then Alex leaves his psycho girlfriend but Rosie… I’m sorry I’ve actually truly lost the train of the plot. Well suffice it to say that they keep ‘missing each other’ in an absolutely ridiculous flip-flop that makes this film of 100 minutes seem much longer.
After a while you’re just like ‘fuck it’ why do they even bother. There’s very little chemistry between the two characters anyway and this is not a love story that makes you go ‘aww’. You’re not rooting for either of them to get together. You’re just wondering how on earth they can be so stupid and choose such awful partners time after time. If anything this film shows us that relationships are far from lovely and romance is all but dead. The anti-climactic ending is proof of this.
Neither of the leads has enough charm nor presence to entice you to watch the movie without heaving big sighs of boredom. Only Rosie’s best friend Ruby (Jaime Winstone) manages to make the proceedings bubbly enough to watch with her bright red hair and enthusiasm. She’d have made a much more interesting lead. And sure the Brit accents with some witty line here or there do give you a bit of a chuckle but that soon wears thin.
As it is you’d be better off watching one of the good ol’ classics for Valentine’s day: My Best Friend’s Wedding, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Pretty Woman, Notting Hill, City of Angels, You’ve Got Mail, Sleepless In Seattle, If Only, The Lake House, Serendipity, Runaway Bride, Love Actually and Ghost. And recently, there was this Brit Rom-Com I really enjoyed called About Time, which you could snuggle up with as well.
PS: The soundtrack of the film has some nice old songs but unfortunately they don’t synch up with what you’re watching on screen in any meaningful way.