Faux-Ir­ish rom com bomb

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - FILM REVIEWS - DON­ALD CLARKE

LOVE, ROSIE Di­rected by Christian Dit­ter. Star­ring Lily Collins, Sam Claflin, Tam­sin Eger­ton, Jaime Win­stone, Suki Water­house, Christian Cooke. 15A cert, gen re­lease, 102 min Be­fore get­ting stuck into this aw­ful (though pretty) adap­ta­tion of Ce­cilia Ah­ern’s epis­to­lary novel Where Rainbow’s End, let us con­sider one em­blem­atic in­ci­dent from the film’s lat­ter sec­tions. An un­lik­able character re­ceives a let­ter he doesn’t want his wife ever to see. After sneak­ing the en­ve­lope into his pocket, he locks it in a drawer that, in the full­ness of time, his part­ner will even­tu­ally force open.

Throw it away! Set fire to it! Feed it to the dog! It’s almost as if you’re be­ing ma­nip­u­lated by a half-writ­ten script that can’t be both­ered to solve even the most ba­sic nar­ra­tive co­nun­drum. The en­tire film is weighed down by such sloppy sto­ry­telling and by equally dis­or­dered char­ac­ter­i­sa­tion.

This is the one about the life­long friends who take too long to re­alise they should be ro­man­ti­cally en­twined. The per­fectly charm­ing Lilly Collins

Sloppy: Lily Collins and Sam Claflin in Love, Rosie

stars as Rosie, a young woman who, weeks be­fore she is due to head for a dream job in Bos­ton, falls preg­nant by the hand­some guy she’s not sup­posed to be with (Christian Cooke). The hand­some guy she is sup­posed to be with (Sam Claflin) does, in­deed, make his way to the US.

This is a bi­nary uni­verse. Ev­ery­one is ei­ther a good egg or a to­tal shit. Fair enough. The prob­lem is that the three main shits (two women and one man) are all scooped from the same bucket. Each is over­dressed, preen­ing and joy­less. None of this, of course, stops the good eggs from ro­manc­ing each iden­ti­cal shit in suc­ces­sion. The story’s de­mands will not be re­sisted.

Do­mes­tic view­ers may, how­ever, be too dis­tracted by the weird shift in lo­ca­tion to pay much at­ten­tion to plot or character. Love, Rosie was shot in Dublin, but, some­where in the pro­duc­tion process, the city has be­come an uniden­ti­fied English town. Red post boxes sit on D6 streets. The Shel­bourne and St Stephen’s Green are now some­where else.

Maybe Dublin col­lec­tively dis­so­ci­ated it­self from the project. Who’d blame it?

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