Love, Rosie

love rosie

DIR: Christian Ditter • WRI: Juliette Towhidi, Cecelia Ahern PRO: Simon Brooks, Robert Kulzer  ED: Tony Cranstoun DES: Matthew Davies CAST: Lily Collins, Sam Claflin, Tamsin Egerton, Suki Waterhouse, Jaime Winstone, Christian Cooke, Art Parkinson

According to the trailer for Love, Rosie,  the film adaptation of Cecilia Ahern’s Where Rainbows End,  “sometimes you don’t see that the best thing that’s ever happened to you is right under your nose.” However, that’s surely only the case for the protagonist Rosie. Indeed, in the one and a half hours of “missed” romantic opportunities that the audience is subjected to, there’s really no doubting what the “best thing” is for Rosie. Yes, you guessed it – it’s her best-friend-that-she’s-always-been-friends-with-but-maybe-really-fancied-but-never-thought-about-it-until-it-was-too-late.

However, I’m not going to lie and say I didn’t enjoy this film. It’s no Oscar-winner, but it’s certainly a good-natured tale of romance between two very attractive protagonists – Lily Collins as Rosie and Sam Clafin as her best friend/romantic interest Alex. In fact, associating Cecilia Ahern adaptations with the incomprehensibly terrible P.S I Love You (Richard LaGravenese, 2007), which comprised of Hilary Swank wandering from Wicklow to Whelans in the blink of an eye and Gerard Butler’s heinous attempt at an Irish accent, Love, Rosie is a breath of fresh air. However, the Irish setting remains slightly problematic insofar as the two protagonists have extremely proper English accents, while it is very clear that it was filmed in Ireland.

The opening scenes of the film are perhaps the most enjoyable part. Indeed, I was suitably impressed with the film’s attempts at cringey Girls-esque body humour, in which Rosie ends up in hospital with a condom stuck in her nether regions after a night spent with school stud Greg (Christian Cooke). Despite the promise of an innovative approach to the romantic comedy with such explicit gross-out scenes, it is a pity that Love, Rosie falls into an ever-so-formulaic narrative structure.

Added to the boredom of such a formula is the fact that Rosie ends up pregnant and decides to have the baby because – even though she doesn’t believe in all “that stuff” – her parents are Catholic so of course she’s having a baby. This narrative trajectory seems a little out of character for Rosie who appears to be full of ambition, knows where she’s going in life and who ends up pregnant after a one-night stand with a guy who does a runner when she admits she’s pregnant. Anyway, she has the baby, wheareas the male protagonist is allowed to go off and fulfil his dreams in Boston. Meanwhile, Rosie becomes a cleaner.

The years go by, the protagonists don’t age except for some quick hairstyle changes, Rosie’s daughter grows up into a rather precious brat and Rosie continues to be a cleaner. The baby-daddy returns, there are many tearful moments akin to a Douglas Sirk melodrama and Rosie and Alex just can’t seem to get it together. Will love prevail throughout the years of heartbreak and missed opportunities? Can life ever be good again? I won’t ruin it for you. Everyone loves a good cliff-hanger.

 Heather Browning

15A (See IFCO for details)

102 minutes

Love, Rosie  is released 24th October 2014

Love, Rosie – Official Facebook

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Cinema Review: Elfie Hopkins

Ray makes dinner

DIR: Ryan Andrews  WRI: Ryan Andrews, Riyad Barmania  PRO: Jonathan Sothcott, Michael Wiggs  DOP: Tobia Sempi  ED: Peter Hollywood  DES: Tim Dickel  Cast: Jaime Winstone, Rupert Evans, Steven Mackintosh, Aneurin Barnard, Ray Winstone

From 1979’s Scum to 2011’s Hugo, via gems like Sexy Beast, Nil By
Mouth and The Proposition, British actor Ray Winstone has had a most
extraordinary career. During his 30+ years in the business, he has
worked with directors as diverse as Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg,
Robert Zemeckis, John Hillcoat and Jonathan Glazer.

He one of the most reliable performers currently working in British
cinema, and it seems the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, as his
daughter Jaime is (along with the likes of Juno Temple and Imogen
Poots) one of the brightest young actresses to emerge in recent years
across the water.

Having made her debut in Saul Dibb’s Bullet Boy back in 2004, she has
gone on to receive acclaim for her roles in Kidulthood, Donkey Punch
and, more recently, Made In Dagenham. She was also seen earlier on
this year in Dexter Fletcher’s directorial debut, Wild Bill, which
proved to be another fine showcase for her obvious talent.

Less successful in that regard, however, is Elfie Hopkins, the feature
film debut of Ryan Andrews. The younger Winstone stars as the titular
Elfie, a 22-year-old slacker living in a sleepy village, who has
aspirations of becoming a private detective.

Along with her lovelorn best friend, Dylan (Aneurin Barnard, a dead
ringer for Aaron Johnson in Kick Ass), she likes to investigate the
people of the village for her own amusement and self-fulfillment, much
to annoyance of the villagers, as well as her father and step-mother.

However, when a seemingly perfect family, The Gammons, come to live in
the area, their interest is instantly magnified. As the film
progresses, it becomes apparent that there is more to The Gammons
(especially Rupert Evans’ father and Gwyneth Keyworth’s daughter) than
meets the eye.

The final act reveal of what makes The Gammons so suspicious will not
be unveiled here, though it is a very interesting plot development as
it happens. Unfortunately, there are a couple of problems with the
film that make it less effective than it should be.

First of all, there is a moment in the opening half of the film that
seems to give the game away too easily, and is something that
observant viewers will be able to spot without too much effort.
Secondly, the opening 40 minutes of the film comes off as overly
quirky, and suggests a completely different scenario to the one that
transpires after the mid-way point.

It is not uncommon for films to change tact drastically once they
reach a certain stage in their development (Full Metal Jacket and From
Dusk Till Dawn are two obvious examples), but in order for it to work
in this way, you have to invest a certain amount of interest from the
outset, which something that Elfie Hopkins doesn’t manage, despite the
obvious intentions of everyone involved.

There are times when the quirks and foibles of the lead character can
be quite irritating (which is not the fault of Winstone, who does her
very best with the material she is given), and the plot meanders far
too much, instead of focusing on the task at hand.

Which is a real shame, as Andrews has assembled a decent cast, with
Evans and Keyworth, in particular, offering good support. There is
also a cameo from the elder Winstone as the local butcher, though his
peculiar accent and head gear does prove rather distracting.

In the end, it is by no means a truly awful piece of work, but the big
problem is that it was originally conceived as a short film, and has
clearly suffered from the expansion of the narrative that has led to
it cropping up on the big screen.

The one interesting side note to the film, however, is the fact that
Jaime Winstone has taken on a role that is a departure from her usual
bad girl characters, which is something that may well serve her well
in the future, even if her first step into new territory is something
of a misfire.

Daire Walsh

Rated 16 (see IFCO website for details)
Elfie Hopkins is released on 20th April 2012

Elfie Hopkins – Official Website

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