This may look like a rom-com, with its obvious plotting and over-cute characters, but it's eerily lacking any actual romance or comedy. And there isn't much else to grab onto either, even though the likeable cast do what they can with a superficial script. Sadly, the director never manages to pull it all together.
Set in Glasgow, the story centres on Jane (Gillan), an aspiring author who is tired of rejection letters from publishers about her first novel, a down-beat story about father-daughter gloom. Then she gets an offer from a tiny local publishing house run by sexy Frenchman Tom (Weber) and his goofy assistant Roddy (De Caestecker). And the book is a surprise hit, winning awards and propelling her into rising-star glamour, complete with a flashy new screenwriter boyfriend (Cusick). But as she writes her second book, she gets writer's block due the thought of finishing her contract with Tom. She couldn't possibly be in love with him, could she? Meanwhile, in need of the manuscript, Tom and Roddy try to spark her writing by making her life as miserable as possible.
The film has a choppy structure that makes it impossible for anyone to have a meaningful moment. Every plot point is conveyed with another musical montage featuring colourful Glasgow landmarks and local indie music, all of which is nice to look at even though it leaves us unable to care. And while screenwriter Solomons at least tries to reinvent the standard rom-com structure, he still can't disguise the obvious fact that Jane and Tom are meant for each other from the start. And we also never doubt Jane's awkward attempts to reconcile with her dad (Lewis).
In other words, the filmmakers try every trick in the book, from silly slapstick to magical realism, to keep us engaged. But they forget to make the characters and their relationships plausible and engaging. There are also annoying distractions all the way through, such as Tom's "relationship manager" (Dickie) and the lead character (Manson) from Jane's book, who pops into view from time to time. In the end, the genial tone might be enough to carry us through, but the film feels so slight that we'll forget we ever saw it.
Run time: 102 mins
In Theaters: Friday 8th August 2014
Distributed by: Synchronicity Films
Production compaines: British Film Company, Synchronicity Films
Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 36%
Fresh: 5 Rotten: 9
IMDB: 6.3 / 10
Director: John McKay
Producer: Claire Mundell
Screenwriter: David Solomons
Starring: Karen Gillan as Jane Lockhart, Stanley Weber as Tom Duval, Iain De Caestecker as Roddy, Henry Ian Cusick as Willie, Kate Dickie as Anne Lefevre, Amy Manson as Darsie, Freya Mavor as Nicola Ball, Gary Lewis as Benny Lockhart
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