Entertainment / Movies

Love, Rosie Review

Alex Stewart and Rosie Dunne have been best friends for what seems like an eternity. Growing up across the street from one another in a quaint suburban town, the two are depicted as inseparable and in sync from the moment the film begins. Although, I would suspect that each have harbored these feelings long before Rosie’s eighteenth birthday, they come to a head in the first few minutes of the film as the two share a romantic kiss amidst the sloppy and drunken blur of the club around them, where they are celebrating.  The morning after, the two, reluctant to actually mention the shared moment, beat around the bush by fishing for the other’s thoughts on what happened – which ends in simultaneous denial and repression of anything happening. From that moment, the story spans across the next twelve years of their friendship, culminating at Alex’s wedding; a moment that it is visited twice in the film.
While I want to do my best to avoid major spoilers, I will say that this film’s strength’s don’t come from the screenplay itself, which is adapted from Cecelia Ahern’s novel Where Rainbows End, but rather from the true-to-life performances of the two leads, played by Sam Claflin (Hunger Games) and Lily Collins (Mirror, Mirror). Claflin and Collins perfectly capture the insecurity and fear that comes from having feelings for your best friend, especially at the stage of your life when everything around you seems to be in a perpetual state of flux. Both characters have visions of what they want their life to be, and admit that they feel claustrophobic and stifled by the place they grew up in. So, although eager to leave it behind them, they are both anxious about losing all that is familiar to them, which is yet another theme that makes this story so relatable.  Although it is painfully clear to the audience that this constantly evolving relationship should have long ago turned towards romance, the two are hesitant to admit that to one another for fear of rejection and losing the one static thing they’ve had their entire life; each other.
The way Claflin and Collins play the protagonists relationship can be at times almost too realistic, which seems to be artistically exaggerated by the simplistic shots the cinematographer uses through out.  This shot style picks up on the small, life-like moments and exposes the emotional truths behind them; a look between the two held a beat too long, each unsure if the other felt it too; the anxiety of waiting for a text or IM back from the person you care about; and the sinking feeling when what you thought doesn’t turn out to be reality.
Yes, Love, Rosie is your standard romantic comedy that explores the trials and tribulations of the infamous “friend-zone.” Sure, I will admit that although charming, this British film often times screams cliché and predictability. So, while it most likely won’t win any awards or be remembered for years to come as an example of extraordinary filmmaking and craftsmanship, that doesn’t mean it’s not the perfect Valentine’s Day treat.
You can see Love, Rosie in select theaters and on VOD and iTunes.
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Love, Rosie Review: Film stills credited to Constantin Film Produktion GmbH

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