Love, Rosie

2014-12-12 12:42
What it's about:

Rosie and Alex are best friends. They are suddenly separated when Alex and his family move from Dublin to America. Can their friendship survive years and miles? Will they gamble everything for true love?

What we thought:

In the romance genre, there have been some doozies this year. I blame Nicholas Sparks for this scourge of flaccid, hollow interpretations of love and tragedy. When I read about Love, Rosie, I thought it would be another in the long line of soppy romances that make me want to dig my eyes out. I have never been so wrong.

Reading the plot would suggest otherwise – best friends Rosie and Alex have grown up together, but of course they actually love each other but can’t seem to get their act together for like 12 years – which sounds like something any anti-chick-flick activists would avoid at all costs. Unfortunately, it reels you in with witty humour, engaging critique of love and relationships and surprisingly well-done acting chops from unexpected talent. It makes my dark heart cringe that I enjoyed this so much.

The film is based on the book Where Rainbows End from the same author that wrote romance-favourite P.S. I Love You, and the story is written through letters, emails and text messages – which was also a core part of the film. What goes missing in films adapted from books is well-retained in this film as all their messages to each other are nice pop-ups and helps to strengthen the connection that one feels with Rosie and Alex and their struggling relationship. In this modern world text messages are quite intimate aspects of the modern human and keeping this part of the film boosted the intimacy that the audience felt for the story.

It is also surprising that they managed to pull off the passing of years, especially with actors Lily Collins (The Mortal Instruments) and Sam Claflin (The Hunger Games) who seem more suited to teen heartthrobs than good actors that can morph from teenagers (where the film starts) to adults in their late twenties/early thirties. In that time children were born, marriages broken and careers made, and Collins and Claflin managed to adapt to that in the most convincing way. (Kudos to the hair and wardrobe team who helped with the transitions.) The time period also helped cement their relationship into something more real than any Romeo-and-Juliet-esque romance ever could, and that is the biggest appeal.

Largely, I would describe the film as a comedy and am surprised at Collins’ comedic abilities. The condom scene is probably one of the best, but luckily they have it well-toned and subdued, probably due to its British location. There’s enough substance in it that I can recommend this film to anyone (good date movie) and any age. It’s progression through these two soul mates’ lives and mistakes can resonate with anyone because the life experiences are real, not only about love but also about friendships, goals and what we want for ourselves out of life.

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