Director: Christian Ditter
Cast: Lilly Collins, Sam Claflin
It’s almost like clockwork — Valentine’s Day arrives and so do a bunch of movies that pander to teenagers looking for a date movie. Every year we’re treated to fluffy forgettable bores under the guise of a date movie and this time we are offered the British film Love, Rosie. Things are a bit different this time though — this film was not developed to be a Valentine’s Day release; it released internationally last year, but was pushed ahead by six months here.
The results, however, aren’t much different. This is the same movie that’s been made a thousand times previously. There’s a boy (Sam Claflin from The Hunger Games) and Lilly Collins (in a British accent), they are childhood friends, they dig each other, the girl falls for the guy and vice versa, something silly happens, the guy meets another girl and the girl cannot let the guy out of her mind. There’s also the stock scenario of a misunderstanding between the boy and the girl which could have been resolved in a matter of five minutes if they just sat down and spoke to each other. But naturally they don’t, and they drag the situation for two whole hours before the inevitable cheery ending.
Predictably, there’s a subplot featuring the other girl (Tamsin Egerton) who is seemingly perfect but that one tiny little flaw which the audience must hang on to so that the original guy and the girl end up together. There is also the usual stack of pop song montages, bittersweet exchanges, manipulative melodrama and eye rolling attempts at comedy. The film is based on an Irish novel but there isn’t anything remotely Irish about the film — it just happens to be set in the UK. The British lingo and setting, however, is a nice change from the brain meltingly terrible American rom coms that are churned out year after year. The Nicholas Sparks treatment of teal and orange photography and contrived schmaltz is very much present in abundance though.
Love, Rosie is as stock and clichéd as they come. It neither surprises nor disappoints, it just arrives and leaves without making you feel anything. It is a zombie of a movie, but at best it is harmless and at worst humourless. One fascinating aspect of the movie is how Lilly Collins, a reasonably talented actress, continues to choose turkeys. Hugh Grant, however, would raise an eyebrow at Claflin’s dialogue delivery, if only the latter was as funny as the former.