A stripped-down romcom…
OUT 2 NOVEMBER
The ingredients look familiar in this British-American romcom – Nick Hornby source, awkward love triangle, kooky siblings – but it has enough going on under the surface to make it worth a look, with melancholic musings outweighing belly laughs.
The none-more-Hornby setup sees fanboy/manchild Duncan (Chris O’Dowd) thrilled when an unreleased demo tape by his idol, reclusive rocker Tucker Crowe (Ethan Hawke), surfaces. Duncan’s long-suffering partner Annie (Rose Byrne) is less impressed; when she leaves a scathing review that catches Tucker’s attention, the two start corresponding.
The cutesy seaside setting and Annie’s job at a local museum of curiosities feel twee, but Byrne is reliably charming, and the role of enigmatic, washed-up musician fits Hawke like a bobbly cardy. O’Dowd gets most of the laughs as the self-important cultural studies lecturer, but all of the leading trio contribute to the film’s deeper themes of fandom, self-reflection and lives half-lived.
Directed by Girls regular Jesse Peretz and produced by Judd Apatow, Juliet is a little too low-key for its own good, never quite generating extremes of emotion. But it’s poignant and sharp enough for anyone who pines for the days when romcoms had substance as standard. Matt Maytum
An understated, charming dramedy that can meander, but is elevated by the combo of Byrne, Hawke and O’Dowd.
CertifiCate TBC DireCtor Jesse Peretz Starring Rose Byrne, Ethan Hawke, Chris O’Dowd SCreenplay Evgenia Peretz, Jim Taylor, Tamara Jenkins DiStributor Universal running time 105 mins they agreed to disagree about his shirt…