An adaptation of the successful 2004 novel Where Rainbows End, Love, Rosie aims straight for its demographic with an almost surgical precision. The result is a by the numbers rom-com, competently but uninspiringly handled.
Directed by Christian Ditters
Starring Lilly Collins, Sam Clafin, Suki Waterhouse
Love, Rosie certainly can’t be accused of confounding expectations, instead it does exactly what it says on the packet. This film is a romantic comedy. In fact it is in the exact same mould of every rom-com since Hugh Grant charmingly stuttered his way through Four Weddings And A Funeral. Complete with the appropriate amount of major life events, the toing and froing of “will they, won’t they,” and a male lead that was apparently cloned from Grant’s toe nail clippings.
Childhood confidants since the age of five, Rosie (Lily Collins) and Alex (Sam Clafin) have always been close, but have been reluctant to think of each other as anything other than friends. So when both develop feelings for the other, neither is willing to reveal the fact, as they are unsure of the cost on their friendship. So sets the course for both their lives, as Alex heads off to study medicine in America and Rosie finds herself staying in her small Irish hometown, unexpectedly pregnant to a casual fling. Over the years they repeatedly fall into each other’s orbit, but the timing never feels right for them to share their lives together.
An adaptation of the successful 2004 novel Where Rainbows End, Love, Rosie aims straight for its demographic with an almost surgical precision. The result is a by the numbers rom-com, competently but uninspiringly handled. The plotline dithers perhaps too much as the two friends try to resolve their romantic entanglement, leading to a palpable sense of frustration. It is obvious where the tale is heading, and there are few genuine twists thrown in the way, so the whole thing feels like it takes too long in getting to the story’s end point (about one wedding in fact).
That said it isn’t terrible either. Sticking close to the rom-com formula, it does have a few moments for the stars’ comedic talents to shine, although most of these are in the set up rather than the end (which aims to be a little more serious in tone). The initial establishment of Rosie’s character by Lilly Collins is genuinely likeable, with some of her most embarrassing moments handled with a lightness of touch that make them screamingly funny. Sam Clafin politely stumbles through his dialogue in an ever so charming a fashion, which would make him a delightful romantic lead, if it wasn’t so obviously derivative. It is something his character never quiet shakes, even when the dramatic elements become more prominent.
In the end Love, Rosie is what it is, an astoundingly average example of the genre. While it lacks originality and flair, it is also not completely swamped by mawkishness and sentimentality, leaving it with little to either damn it or recommend it. So, not so much love, but rather a lukewarm ambivalence.