“Love, Rosie” (2014)
Rosie (Lily Collins) and Alex (Sam Claflin) have been best friends since they were five years old. They live almost across the street from each other. They are the type of friends who while maybe they can’t finish each other’s sentences, they at least know what the other person is going to talk about. Their friendship is so deep that they tend to overlook each other as romantic partners. After a night of drinking, celebrating Rosie’s eighteenth birthday, they finally kiss before Rosie passes out, falling off her bar stool. The next day, Rosie has one heck of a hangover with no remembrance of the kiss. Alex decides not to tell her of the kiss, and they each ask other people out for the prom. While they keep checking out each other on the dance floor, Rosie ends up in a hotel room with her date.
Their plan is for the both of them to go to school in Boston. Rosie’s plans go out the window when she discovers that she is pregnant from that one-time prom date. She decides to have the baby and creates an excuse to tell Alex why she can’t go with him While Alex is on his way to college, Rosie must decide to either keep the baby or put it up for adoption, allowing her to only miss a semester or two in Boston. Either decision is bound to change her life.
This is a fun romantic comedy in the tradition of “Four Weddings and a Funeral,” with two characters who are destined to end up together. As they go through life, they flirt with getting together as a couple, but there is always a reason not to. Neither one realizes that the other person wants to get together, and both continue to hesitate to make the first move. The question is not that Rosie and Alex aren’t meant for each other but will their lousy timing ever let up enough for them to get together?
I liked the script by Juliette Towhidi, adapted from Cecelia Ahern’s novel “Where Rainbows End.” Towhidi kept the story moving a bright pace and developed two complex and realistic characters in Rosie and Alex. The biggest complaint I have with the script is there are a couple of attempts at broad comedy that just don’t work. One bit is so badly done that it wouldn’t belong in even the worst TV sitcom out there. The high points of the film are the scenes between Rosie and Alex. The film never loses sight of the fact that the movie centers around the two and their scenes together are what hold our interest.
Director Christian Ditter keeps the story flowing, quickly moving from scene to scene as he deftly keeps the romantic tension going throughout the film. He is able to keep the story afloat as Rosie and Alex continue to miss their big chance for romance in scene after scene.
Ditter is aided by the excellent chemistry between the two leads of Claflin and Collins. Their interplay is the best thing about this film, and their timing is perfect in their scenes together. The film is also aided by the fact that the other romantic partners that Rosie and Alex have throughout the film are rather dull and uninteresting characters. Claflin plays the good-looking guy, who has heart and brains with a light, easy touch. He is a good match for Collins, who comes off as a combination of Anne Hathaway and Rose Byrne. She shines in this film, showing a nice comedic touch. We start rooting for Rosie right when she first appears on the screen, with a winning smile and a spunky attitude. Collins has a natural grace about her that helps her be goofy, but not overly so. She is a delight to watch on screen, and I hope that she will do more of these types of films.
“Love, Rosie” while not a perfect film, is still a bouncy British romantic comedy that uses its leads to the fullest. It’s a fun ride, mostly due to a wonderful performance by Lily Collins. It’s never too late to take a chance and let love into your life; just ask Rosie. My Rating: Bargain Matinee
My movie rating system from Best to Worst: 1). I Would Pay to See it Again 2). Full Price 3). Bargain Matinee 4). Cable 5). You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again
“Love, Rosie” is currently playing in the Atlanta area at AMC Colonial 18 Theaters
For more of Mike’s reviews and interviews click here