Director: Christian Ditter
Cast: Lily Collins, Sam Claflin and Jamie Winstone
Running Time: 103 minutes
Release Date: October 24th
Can a man and a woman be friends or will sex get in the way? In the real world the answer to that is of course they can. Platonic friendships between men and women can exist without sex even being an issue. However this is movie world and Love, Rosie, based on the novel Where Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahern, continues the tradition started by the late Nora Ephron in When Harry Met Sally… that sex will definitely get in the way, it is just a case of when.
The friends in question here are Rosie (Lily Collins) and Alex (Sam Claflin), BFF’s since they were five who have clearly started to grow romantic feelings towards each other as they grow older. We first see them as 18-year olds as they plan to leave their homes in the Dublin part of North London in order to attend college in the Toronto area of Boston, Massachusetts. However after becoming pregnant on the night of their school dance by her date Greg, she decides to stay put. This pregnancy turns out to be the first of many obstacles and cases of bad timing over the next decade that get in the way of Rosie and Alex’s will they or won’t they relationship. (Spoiler alert: they do.)
Of course the conclusion of the film is obvious, there is no way that a film like this would leave its main couple alone and miserable. So it is very important that in order to hold our interest we have to have characters that we can route for. Sadly the characters of Rosie and Alex are just not that interesting for the film to rise above the familiarity of the plot. While Lily Collins is perfectly likeable in her role and does the best that she can, unfortunately Sam Claflin and the character of Alex is never anything more than a little bland. While he has the stammer of a young Hugh Grant, he has only a fraction of the charm.
One of the ways the film tries to differentiate itself from others of its ilk is to include a surprisingly large amount of bawdy humour. While there is nothing wrong with this approach, the problem with the humour in this film, apart from the fact that it is not particularly funny, is with its tone. Pretty much all the jokes are at the expense of Rosie herself and after a while it just starts to feel cruel, as if the film is deriving some kind of pleasure from her misfortunes, which kind of leaves a bitter taste in the mouth.
One strange aspect of the film that might bother some people is the fact that for anybody who is familiar with Dublin, the use of locations around the city and passing them off as middle class London can become quite distracting.
Love, Rosie certainly doesn’t break any ground and in the end it feels just like yet another fluffy romantic comedy that never overcomes the familiarity of its generic conventions. That perhaps will probably work for its target audience, it certainly won’t leave any real lasting impression.