Movie Review: Love, Rosie (2014 - Lily Collins)

Love, Rosie movie still Lily Collins as Rosie Dunne and Sam Claflin as Alex Stewart

Charming performance by Lily Collins makes this simple rom-com likable and somewhat heartfelt


The most popular romance dramas in the past decade or so are centered around the premise of memory loss, a notebook or letters, and all of them are based on novels. Love, Rosie is no different. This romance comedy is based on Cecelia Ahern's (who also written P.S. I Love You) book Where Rainbows End (known as Love, Rosie or Rosie Dunne in the US) that's entirely in an epistolary structure in form of letters, instant messages, emails, etc. I believe most parts of the actual story were re-created by screenwriter Juliette Towhidi for the sake of making this a less dull movie, and it worked.

The story's basically about Rosie Dunne (Lily Collins) and Alex Stewart (Sam Claflin), a pair of best friends who grew up together ever since they were kids but on Rosie's 18th birthday, they discover that they might love each other more than buddies. However, not long after that, they are separated due to an unplanned pregnancy after their high school graduation. The film takes the audience through the drastic changes of their relationships and lives change in the course of 12 years in a quick fashion, but thanks to the commendable performance by Claflin (Snow White & the Huntsman, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Strangers Tide) and particularly Collins (Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, Mirror, Mirror), patient development for the main characters weren't crucially required.

Lily Collins Love, Rosie movie meme

Besides having quite an ordinary and predictable plot about two people who're made for each other but keeps missing chances of being together due to forced and very convenient incidents, the film does other problems. It's common in chick flicks that beautiful ladies can be just close friends with a handsome man without sexual tension and then still be able to fall in love much later, but in the real world, it's virtually impossible that they never had sex in their whole lives of knowing each other, especially when they've never really looked at each other as siblings. This is where the childhood days of these characters should've been better developed instead of showing just seconds of photos and flashbacks. Rosie doesn't seem to ever look older in the movie, and despite portraying how tough and what a dream-destroyer being pregnant is, she doesn't even look fat or weary after giving birth. And somehow, Alex can have so much free time going around being in different relationship while being a medical student and later a doctor. The film also have a weak supporting cast, with no intention of strongly developing the relationship between Rosie and her daughter, or even the characters that viewers are supposed to dislike. But it does do a very good job stereotyping beef hunks and hot models.

Fortunately, its few positives are heavier than its many flaws. Director Christian Ditter managed to utilise the Irish-ness, beautiful cinematography and nice song picks to turn this piece of familiar romance story into a visually refreshing movie, which is also probably why it feels less cliched than typical Hollywood chick flicks and its cheesiness are more acceptable. It also has a few awkwardly humourous moments as well, large due to Collin's performance. What the film does best how it effectively expresses how wrong it could be to end up with someone who has the looks or the class, instead of just someone who happens to have chemistry and a deep connection with you. If there must be predictable generic chick flicks to be released every year, they should at least have heart like Love, Rosie.



What I would've named the film: "Out of the Friendzone"

Censorship in Malaysia: The way this film is censored further proves the inconsistency of our local film censorship board, I think. The kissing sequences are cut, but not the sex scene (with bra on), whereas the F-bombs are not even muted, but the written vulgarities are covered with mosaic. What the fudge?

Second opinion: Girlfriend practically cried in every sad or touching moment. She liked the movie very much.

Verdict: Although there's nothing really unfamiliar about the story, it's definitely one of the most watchable western chick flicks since 2004 where successful romance films like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and The Notebook were released.

Rating: 3.5 / 5

Lose Rosie Dunne movie poster malaysia Based on: Cecelia Ahern's 2004 novel "Where Rainbow Ends"

Genre: Romance comedy
Running Time: 101 minutes
Director: Christian Ditter
Screenwriter: Juliette Towhidi
Cast: Lily Collins, Sam Claflin, Jaime Winstone

Malaysia Release Date: 23 October 2014
Rated: P13
Local Distributor: GSC Movies
Production: Canyon Creek Films, Constantin Film, Octagon Films



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