102 min - Comedy | Romance

Review: Matt Mungle

Romantic comedy/dramas require very little to be successful. But those that get a few key elements right are the ones that excel. The new film LOVE, ROSIE is wonderfully surprising and breathes emotional life into an often cliche and regurgitated genre. Even when it is predictable it still manages to keep the audience engaged and attached to the characters. This is no cookie cutter script or tired plot line but instead a story that takes many bold twists and turns.

Rosie Dunne (Lily Collins)and Alex Stewart (Sam Claflin) have been best friends since they were tiny tots. Their friendship has made them closer than siblings and any sort of romantic notion seems awkward and ridiculous; at least for Rosie. Alex feels differently but doesn't want to jeopardize the bond they have. This causes them to make silly decisions instead of facing what is right in front of them. The film covers years of failed relationships, road blocks and missed opportunities as each of them try to forge a path of their own. The end result is what, we the viewer, hoped all along.

We have seen Lily Collins evolve into a strong leading lady. Here she gets to show off her wide range of acting skills. We see her go form whimsical, to heartbroken, to a young woman stepping up to shoulder responsibilities she never expected. She does it all with t a grace that makes her character endearing. Claflin often seems typical in the role but his decisions are not made easily. He too is living a life of regret and paints it over with a forced smile. The two together pop on screen and the chemistry takes the near perfect script and makes it sing.

The script and dialouge has a realness and sincerity that makes even the most predictable moments warm and emotional. As time moves forward you start to see a pattern and like in real life often those define our end result; expected or otherwise. The writers do not create a new way of doing things or reinvent the genre. Instead they build loveable characters and let them move through the story with all the bumps and bruises.

LOVE, ROSIE is rated R for language and some sexual content. Some of the dialouge is laced with anger, fear, and regret. These moments are not crude nor seem out of place. They are part of the people speaking them. The sexual content is brief but the adult drama pops up often. That makes for a film suitable for older viewers. I give it 4 out of 5 transcripts. It caught my attention early and held on through the duration. A good option for this Valentine Weekend or those who love a good romantic drama with characters they can appreciate.


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