Critic Alice Sheppard is not quite to commit to Love, Rosie
Considering that there were only five of us on opening night in the screening room, Love, Rosie (based on the best-selling novel Where Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahern) was a sweet-hearted film of missed opportunities and tested relationships that engages in both funny and tender moments simultaneously. Witnessing a childhood friendship between eponymous hero Rosie (Lily Collins) and her best friend Alex (Sam Claflin), we see their development from young playmates into devoted old friends. However, as Alex finds it difficult to express his true feelings for Rosie, he finds himself caught in the classic dilemma of whether to voice said feelings and watch their relationship blossom or to potentially ruin their precious friendship with overbearing awkwardness if she doesn’t like him back.
Our protagonists are typical teenagers: internet-fuelled, party animals and acquainted with lots of lemon slices to counteract the Tequila. Yet despite this, both Rosie and Alex are searching to expand their horizons by heading abroad to study and experience the world, which although happens for Alex when he achieves a Harvard Scholarship, Rosie – after an accident involving a childbirth protection device going AWOL – is left with a surprise pregnancy and stunted chances at studying abroad (this is right at the beginning so I promise no real spoilers!). An accident which forces her to fast-forward from studenthood to parenthood when faced with the responsibility of a being a mother and thus the film jumps several years at various parts to accommodate the fast pace of events; although I admire the film’s futile attempts to make the same actors look fifteen years older than at the beginning of the film – a challenge difficult for any director – there are simply no slicked back ponytails and ‘sensible’ outfits that are going to convince us of the vast change in time for our baby-faced actors.
As friends growing up, the duo is alarmingly close: squeezing each other’s zits (because zits sound a lot more ferocious than spots) and asking his opinion on the troublesome bra or no bra question! All this closeness is JUST about believable, but as friends (even if it is just from her point of view) lying with her head on his lap like a newlywed couple is just too weird and tragically unrealistic. The distance however extends their friendship across continents, putting their bond of affection to the ultimate test and thus we see a cute story of their journey as adults and as friends.
The film is generally pretty funny, with humour ranging from slapstick – “Hi I’m Dick!” says the doctor ready to examine her ladyparts – to misunderstanding, such as a student does with her role as a parent at a party: “What do you do?” – “I’m a mum!” – “is that some kind of drama major thing?” However despite several comedy moments, my overriding sensation was that of frustration at the numerous moments where something that could have potentially flourished into romance between the pair yet is lost like tears in the rain. The soundtrack however was cracking and this compensated a lot for the increased frustration: from booty-shaking to Crazy in Love to the intense stages of labour endorsed by Salt N Peppa’s Push it; there was a perfect song for everyone moment!
Equally the film is quite charming with her father’s motivational support in her periods of struggle; speaking of the universal message of always pursuing ones dreams whilst the empathetic nature of the film takes into account the hardships suffered by young mums and the challenges they face in retaining their youth whilst developing into mature adults. Rosie however definitely show’s that she’s clearly not to be messed with when managing to swing an impressive wallop of a right hook, showing that single mamma’s can be kick-ass too! But despite the film’s endearing quality, the ending was pretty predictable and thus somewhat boring, but I’ll leave the viewer to judge that for themselves. Either way, I was definitely induced with a warm, fuzzy Mr Kipling feeling throughout the duration of the film.