Deliberately unstructured, this likeable romantic comedy holds the audience's interest with its strikingly engaging cast and a slick visual style, but the plot is both contrived and underdeveloped. As the filmmakers try out some wacky slapstick, pointed political moments or a bit of darkly emotional drama, the movie's tone veers so wildly that we don't quite know where to look. And by never managing to crack the surface, the script leaves the actors with little to do but look good.
The story centres on two childhood friends: Rosie (Lily Collins) and Alex (Sam Claflin) grew up on the same street in England, developing romantic longings that they kept hidden. After a drunken teenage kiss, they rebound into the arms of other people: Rosie hooks up with the school hunk Greg (Christian Cooke), while Alex takes wannabe supermodel Bethany (Suki Waterhouse) to the big dance. Then Rosie and Alex's plan to go to university together in Boston is derailed by an unexpected pregnancy. Over the next 12 years they live on opposite sides of the Atlantic, trying to get on with their romantic lives. Alex finds a serious girlfriend (Tamsin Egerton) while Rosie re-connects with Greg and gets support from a pal (Jaime Winstone). But they never stop pining for each other.
Shot and edited in a bouncy rom-com style, it's immediately obvious where this is heading, so screenwriter Juliette Towhidi has to work overtime to throw the audience off the scent, which leaves the movie spinning in circles while we wait for the inevitable to happen. Fortunately, the characters are vivid enough to keep us entertained, as people move in and out of each others' lives providing the laughs and tears for Rosie and Alex, as well as the audience. Even if the characters are predictable and simplistic, Collins and Claflin manage to find moments of real depth along the way. Although it's difficult not to think that one proper conversation between these lifelong best pals would have saved them decades of frustration.
Continue reading: Love, Rosie Review
Michael Keaton is Jonathan Rivers, a successful architect and loving husband to his pregnant novelist wife Anna (Chandra West) and father to his son Mike (Nicholas Elia), from a previous marriage. After Anna's sudden disappearance and subsequent death, a man named Raymond Price (Ian McNeice) contacts Jonathan claiming he's been receiving messages from Anna on the other side. Desperate to be connected once again with his wife, Jonathan begins a dangerous obsession with EVP.
Continue reading: White Noise Review
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.