Love, Rosie (2014) - Review

by - February 07, 2019

Synopsis: Rosie and Alex have been best friends since they were 5, so they couldn't possibly be right for one another...or could they? When it comes to love, life and making the right choices, these two are their own worst enemies.

Sometimes, The Right Love Comes At The Wrong Time

Rosie (Lily Collins) and Alex (Sam Claflin) have been best friends since the age of five. On Rosie's 18th birthday, the two share a drunken kiss before Rosie passes out. The next day when Alex comes to check on her, she tells him she's embarrassed by her behavior and never wants to talk about what happened again. Alex takes this as Rosie wanting to forget their kiss, and he begrudgingly, and silently, accepts that they're just friends, despite his feelings for her. From that moment on, and over the next twelve years, a series of miscommunication, uncertainty, other loves and missed opportunities keep Alex and Rosie from finally admitting how they truly feel about one another.

As with Practical Magic, I'm inclined to call Love, Rosie a romantic dramedy rather than a straight up rom-com. The movie is imbued with subtle humor instead, which is very much needed in the midst of the angst our two main characters suffer through for the entirety of the film.

Let's get this out of the way right now. Love, Rosie is full of rom-com cliches. Yes, if they had just communicated with one another from the beginning, the whole mess that became their lives could have been avoided. But that would have given Alex and Rosie their happily ever after about twenty two minutes into the movie, and where is the fun in that? There's distant, cheating or shrill partners, the 'hidden' letter of confessional love, secrets, misunderstandings, etc., etc., etc. Essentially, any roadblock the writer could have thrown at these two characters, they did and with relish.

But you know what? I don't even care. I recognized every single trope, and I still enjoyed the hell out of this movie. I think the majority of my enjoyment is due to the chemistry between Claflin and Collins. The movie was better when they were on screen together, and while I understood the need to separate them, those were the only times I felt the story dragged on a bit. They managed to capture the heart and soul of what it means to be in love with your best friend, effectively projecting the sexual tension and affection with near kisses and longing looks. I couldn't even be annoyed with the all too familiar montage of two people who should be together roaming the streets of a beautiful city from dusk 'til dawn.

There is nothing overly special about the supporting cast. The highlight was Jaime Winstone, who plays feisty Ruby, Rosie's actual BFF (which she thankfully points out to Rosie in the latter half of the film). We don't see much of Rosie's family, and none of Alex's except for his sister in a couple of scenes. The rest are merely distractions and detours to Alex and Rosie's happy ending. Their exes and spouses are vapid, obnoxious and sleazy, something we see right away but it seems to take Alex and Rosie an embarrassingly long time to figure it out for themselves.

I admit it, I am a sucker for the friends to lovers trope, especially when there is drama involved and despite the rather obvious solutions to the conflict. I would say my biggest annoyance with Love, Rosie was the fact that the film spanned twelve years, to where Rosie has a twelve-year-old daughter and she and Alex never seem to age. Yes, Rosie has her daughter very young, making her I believe around 30-31 when the movie ends, but she still looks twenty years old, despite her newer, shorter hair cut with cutesy curls. The makeup team didn't even attempt it. Boo.

Starring: Sam Claflin, Lily Collins, Suki Waterhouse, Tamsin Egerton, Christian Cooke, Jaime Winstone
Directed by: Christian Ditter
Rated: R
Watched: 02.07.2019
Fun Facts:
- The novel is set over the course of 45 years, while the film spans only 12.
- The scene where Rosie and Alex are lying on Rosie's bed with baby Katie was not originally planned. The baby actress was asleep on the set and Lily Collins and Sam Claflin were on the bed with her, waiting while she rested. The director, Christian Ditter, decided to improvise and put it into the movie.
Notable Song: Son of Sam by Elliot Smith

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