Manic, barrel-scraping rom-com from Christian Ditter starring Lily Collins and Sam Claflin
Based on the novel Where Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahern, Love, Rosie pitches, nay flings itself at the less discerning end of the romantic comedy crowd. German director Christian Ditter (French for Beginners) proves an unsteady hand at the helm of a chaotic, shamelessly saccharine confection which starts off as something pleasantly bubbly, but is soon overflowing with froth.
Rosie and Alex (a nicely cast Lily Collins and Sam Claflin) have been besties since childhood and it's absolutely evident that they're in love. Unfortunately neither of them has ever had the sense to say so. When career aspirations take Alex off to study in Boston, Rosie is prevented from joining him by an unplanned pregnancy and the two dance inexpertly around each other for more than a decade, as other partners – including Tamsin Egerton and Suki Waterhouse – come and go.
Fittingly, given that its title recalls Love Actually, it brings to mind that film's less dignified moments. Fleeting moments of actor friendly, character illuminating intimacy and a cast with clout fail to redeem it. Instead Love, Rosie plumps for an overarching mania and makes its stock-in-trade constant, senseless contrivances: an inexplicably hidden pregnancy, a strangely easy transition to a dream career, monstrous partners providing convenient but easily eschewed obstacles. And, as if that wasn't dispiriting enough, it adds in unconvincing friendships, a cringingly clichéd script, crass comedy (that sits ill with the naff romance), and a timeline that frequently makes no sense at all.
Love, Rosie is a film that squashes sensitivity on sight, meaning this unsubtle effort will test the patience of even the most committed cheesy rom-com apologist. That it wastes the talent of two young actors with star potential is upsetting, that it insults its audience is frankly unforgivable.
General release from Wed 22 Oct.