Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Movie Review: Love, Rosie (2014)


From IMDB:


Rosie and Alex have been best friends since they were 5, so they couldn't possibly be right for one another... or could they? When it comes to love, life and making the right choices, these two are their own worst enemies. One awkward turn at 18, one missed opportunity... and life sends them hurling in different directions. But somehow, across time, space and different continents, the tie that binds them cannot be undone - despite unwanted pregnancies, disastrous love affairs, marriage, infidelity and divorce. Will they find their way back to one another, or will it be too late? Based on Cecelia Ahern's bestselling novel "Where Rainbows End", LOVE, ROSIE is a modern comedy-of-errors tale posing the ultimate question: Do we really only get one shot at true love?

Ratings: 8.4/10 from 65 users

From Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Info

Rosie and her best friend Alex take a leap of faith, both on life and on each other, when they decide to go to the US together to attend university. But fate has other plans for Rosie. Over the next 12 years their lives change dramatically but the connection remains.

Audience Score 95% want to see | Average Rating: 3.9/5 | User Ratings: 1,158

In Cinemas Worldwide 23rd October 2014

These guys are supposed to look like teenagers but they don't really, not to me anyway. ©Lionsgate

What this movie is about (If you don't get what it's about from the info above)(ALERT!! POSSIBLE SPOILERS ABOUT TO FOLLOW. SKIP TILL THE NEXT TIME YOU SEE A SENTENCE IN BOLD!! DON'T SAY I DIDN'T WARN YOU!!)

So this is a romantic comedy that's based off a 2004 novel by Irish author Cecilia Ahearn titled Where Rainbows End. The novel tells the story of two characters Rosie and Alex who met when they were five and remain best of friends all they way till they turn 18 and beyond. In between 18 and beyond they sort of discover that, well, that they belong with each other through bad decisions and relationship mishaps.

Let me sort of take you through what I remember of the movie.

So as mentioned Rosie and Alex meet at a very young age, five years old actually and they hit it off almost immediately. They become the best of friends spending lots of time together and sharing secrets and whatnot. The usual BFF stuff. All is well until they turn 18 when Alex takes Rosie out to celebrate her 18th birthday at a club and proceeds to make her complete and totally drunk. Now don't go getting ideas here, nothing bad happens not even anything perverse or remotely sexual. All Alex does is in the heat of the moment and after the fifth or sixth tequila shot they both get a bit too close to each other and begin to hug and at that moment Alex tries to move in for a kiss. It almost works except that it's at that exact moment just as Alex is zeroing in on Rosie's lips that Rosie decides to pass out and slip right out of Alex embrace falling like a bag of coal on the club's floor. Bad luck for Alex.

When in the throes of passion or when you're trying to look good and impress, even little plastic packages can make you look bad. ©Lionsgate

Next morning we see Rosie curled up in bed and just waking up from a massive hangover and with no memory of the previous night. A few moments later Alex pops up looking not too worse for wear, which is surprising considering he's supposed to be 18 and just had a night out of drinking himself silly. Must be good genes. Anyway, we also find out that Rosie had to be taken to the hospital to have her stomach pumped due to excessive alcohol and that to get that treatment Alex had to call Rosie's mum which results in him being sort of grounded.

Next scene we see them at the beach one evening talking about the upcoming school dance where Alex tells Rosie that one of the hottest gals in their class Bethany has been noticing him and that she's asked him to take her to the dance. Rosie tells Alex that one of the hottest guys in their class has asked her to go to the dance with him but they've sort of agreed to go with each other. Things though start to change when Alex begins to ask Rosie how he should go about trying to impress a girl like Bethany. After some teenage wisdom no doubt gleaned from other teenagers or teenage movies and delivered with some amount of sarcasm Alex ends up asking Bethany to the dance while Alex goes with Greg the hunk.

Uhh... so guess what happened here and guess who thought they did a good job at it... ©Lionsgate

Next scene we see the both of them sitting several rows away from each other in the computer lab but conveniently sitting facing each other and chatting on the computer. Alex has a bit of a reveal for Rosie, he's no longer a virgin and it's thanks to Bethany. This of course surprises Rosie and instantly makes her curse out loud which draws attention to herself. The teacher calls her out but Alex comes in for the rescue which doesn't turn out so well as the teacher then decides to put their chatroom up on the projector for all to see.

Moving on to the dance where they both sort of agree to disagree and make up and be friends again and they both carpool to the dance in Alex's car. At the dance they both try to out-party the other whenever they think the other is watching them while sneaking glances at the other couple. Things are going swimmingly until Rosie sneaks off with Greg to a room where they proceed to do things which any parent of teenagers swears their own kids aren't doing cause they know better. Things start off comically when Greg can't figure out how to get the condom out of the wrapper, then manages to do it  faster than Usain Bolt can run the 100 meters even in his dreams but is impressed by his performance just like Usain Bolt did when he won his Olympic Gold Medal and finishes off by managing to lose the condom he was wearing while doing the deed in Rosie's you-know-what. This little mishap of course causes Rosie to panic and call Alex. Alex of course is the knight in shining armor who takes Rosie to the emergency room to have the little rubbery unwanted guest taken out of her. A little humour is had at her expense as  the doctor discovers why Rosie has come to the emergency room for this late in the evening.

Teenage pregnancy is now fodder for romantic comedies as well as indie movies... ©Lionsgate

Next scene and it's morning and Alex is dropping her off and where Alex asks Rosie to run to Boston with him. No, it's not to elope or go on some romantic adventure. The plan is for the both of them to leave their sleepy little hometown to Boston where Alex can go to Harvard to become a doctor and for Rosie to study Hotel Management there, so that they can be BFFs there. Things don't turn out so well when a little later Rosie discovers that she's pregnant after that little incident at the dance. Not wanting to ruin Alex's plans of going to Harvard Rosie decides not to tell Alex about the baby and gives him some sort of excuse of not going to Boston with him but going later.

Time passes and Rosie has the baby. Alex continues on with his studies in Harvard oblivious of what Rosie is going through until one fine day as Rosie is taking her baby Katie for a walk and bumps into Bethany. I'm sort of wondering how dense someone who manages to get a scholarship to study medicine at Harvard can be to be completely accepting of his best friends excuses to not join him for I'm guessing a whole year, seriously. If it was me, and I'm no genius, I'd have some serious questions for Rosie after a few months of excuses. Anyway, not much later Alex pops up outside Rosie's door and invites himself in for tea. Rosie tries to hide all the baby stuff but doesn't do a good job of it. They have a heart to heart and now they're the best of friends again.

Anyway, lets make this short shall we?

Is it me or does every young adult movies these days have a pool scene? ©Lionsgate

Alex goes back to Boston and meets a hot chick. Rosie gets a job cleaning rooms at a hotel. Katie's dad pops back asking for a second chance and gets it and they hit it off really well. Rosie visits Alex in Boston but has a falling out where things are said that can't be unsaid. Rosie goes back and marries Greg but Alex does not show up at the ceremony. Alex breaks off with the hottie in Boston after finding out that she's pregnant with some other guys baby. Not long after Rosie discovers that Greg hasn't been faithful and breaks it off. Just a little before that Rosie's father dies and Alex shows up and they sort of let bygones be bygones and just before Alex goes back to Boston he mails her a letter which Greg intercepts and doesn't tell Rosie about it. By this time Rosie has been promoted to work the front desk and Bethany pops back into her life. Bethany tells her that she'll be visiting Boston soon, Rosie tells Bethany she should visit Alex. Rosie discovers the letter that Alex wrote to her hidden in a locked drawer and decides to get in touch with him but instead of getting Alex she gets Bethany instead. Alex and Bethany tell her that they're getting married and that they want Rosie to be a part of the wedding. She doesn't get there in time and later in the evening gives a very interesting speech to toast the new couple. The speech of course brings back all sorts of emotions that Alex has buried deep down and things end between him and Bethany. Meanwhile Rosie buys a place near the ocean and turns it into a quaint little hotel. At the launch of her hotel Alex shows up and tells Rosie that things didn't work out with Bethany. And they live happily ever after.

The end.

And of course the required romantic moment in the park... ©Lionsgate 

This unromantic man's humble opinion...

This movie was based on a novel written by an Irish writer and is set primarily in Ireland with obviously Irish characters, this movie has nothing obviously Irish about it. This movie does not look like it takes place in Ireland nor are the cast Irish in anyway. They're definitely Brits and most probably Londoners or from near London, maybe. But Irish they're not. Which I thought was sort of unfortunate because when I read up about this movie prior to watching it I found out about the Irish setting and Irish characters and thought that would be quite a refreshing change. We don't get much Irish movies around here if at all. But because it isn't set in Ireland with Irish characters I immediately started to think and compare it to previous Rom-Coms from Britain like Love Actually and stuff that Hugh Grant's been in. And this movie is nothing like Love Actually or anything Hugh Grant has done. Or maybe I'm wrong.

As far as romantic comedies are concerned I pretty much have Nora Ephron's work in mind, movies like When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle and You've Got Mail. And if they're from the UK then it's movies like Love Actually, Four Weddings and a Funeral, and Notting Hill. This movie has none of the appeal that those movies have. It tries of course but falls short. It throws all the situations that a romantic comedy before it has done into one movie and still it doesn't come off that well. Those of you looking to have a similar experience to those other movies I've mentioned should probably adjust your expectations before you go watch this movie. Maybe the reason for this is because they've tried to turn a 500 page book into a movie that's just a little over and hour and a half. Most book to movie adaptations fall short because of that. It's hard to get what makes a good book into a movie within an amount of time that would keep an audience sitting, paying attention and entertained.

A dashing looking British bloke with a little stuffed toy... Guess what this scenes is about? No prizes if you've read the book. ©Lionsgate

I'm not saying that it's a bad movie, it has it's good moments. It's got it's funny moments, it's sad moments and all the other things that make a romantic comedy what it is but it just doesn't impress. The other thing that this movie made me think is that maybe this movie is targeted to the young adult demographic and more specifically the female segment. I'm not saying the other romantic comedies that I've mentioned above were not made specifically for women but those movies were enjoyed by men too because they were just really good and entertaining movies when you got down to it. I'm not too sure that that many guys who are going to take their girlfriends or wives or significant other to watch it will be walking out of the cinemas feeling impressed or thoroughly entertained by it.

The other thing I found odd about the movie in the first quarter or so of it was the choice to use a documentary style filming technique. You know the one I mean, mostly handheld camera work where the camera doesn't stay steady and is instead moving around a lot. In one scene in felt like the cameraman had Parkinson's because the camera was moving to much and it was a pretty much static scene. I can understand the use of this style in an action movie or maybe a gritty drama but in a romantic comedy? Don't see the reason for it, but fortunately enough it isn't used throughout the movie. So maybe it's symbolic? You know, shaky and uncertain teenage years slowly sorting itself out as the years and wisdom makes the characters more certain of themselves and their future? Or maybe the director sorted out the director of photography. Who knows?

No romantic comedy would be complete without an awkward wedding scene. ©Lionsgate

So the story isn't up to par with past movies in the genre and the visual stuff is sort of odd, not saying that there aren't pretty moments visually but let's just say you're not going to walk out thinking that's a beautifully shot movie. Then there's the music. Music is really important to a romantic comedy, it sets the tone, the scene, the moment, the emotion that the characters are going through at that moment. In fact they're so good that people go out and buy the soundtrack after the movie and some singers actually get a big boost in their career sometimes. Look at Sleepless in Seattle or Notting Hill and Ronan Keating's song When You Say Nothing At All. Those songs are still being played on the radio today. This music in this movie doesn't have the same impact. In fact I walked away without remembering any particular song or any scene with a particular song that made that scene memorable.

So the story isn't up to snuff, visually it doesn't stand out and the music doesn't really stand out or complement what you see perfectly, but what about the acting? Well, at first I thought it was weak overall. They really didn't play their teenage roles all that convincingly well. But as the movie progresses it improves somewhat. Lily Collins who plays Rosie does a pretty good job and Alex played by Sam Claflin does exude a little of that Hugh Grant charm towards the end, a little. But no one else impresses.

One thing that Love, Rosie has a lot of is moments like these. ©Lionsgate

So what did I think overall? Well, if you haven't figured it out yet I was not impressed. It was somewhat entertaining, It had it's moments but it was also a little slow and dull at times. Maybe if you don't have Nora Ephron movies to compare this to or any of the really good Brit ones then maybe you'll enjoy it, maybe. Will you enjoy it if you've read the book? Maybe, maybe not. From what I've personally noticed books that get turned into movies or movies that are based on, adapted or inspired by books usually don't compare well to the book. With a book you have pretty much unlimited time and space to work with your characters and to give them an entire world and lifetime to play in. In a movie you can only stretch your audience's attention so much before they lose interest. Trying to condense the events that happen in a book into a movie, trying to select the right things out of it that make the book good into a movie isn't that easy because every reader likes something different about the book and truth be told every reader when reading the book they love creates a movie in his head, so how does a scriptwriter try to match that?

So I was a little disappointed and walked out of the cinemas feeling that the movie was a little meh... Should you give this movie a skip when it opens? If you've read the book why not give it a go. If you haven't then it still isn't a horrible waste of time or a totally bad movie, like I said it has its moments and they're pretty good but it just doesn't give the entire movie that feel good sensation at the end of it. If you're feeling like watching something light and entertaining give it a try, maybe you'll like it. And truth be told Lilly Collins is adorable to watch. Me, I give it a somewhat disappointing 2 out of 5.

Check out the trailer below and make and decide for yourself if it's worth watching.



  1. i wish i could i watch all the movies that you have listed

    1. Hi Anys Nadhilah! You can, just join the people i've thanked in my blogs and you could join me and others at the next premiere :) Or you could just ask your significant other to take you to them :D Thanks for dropping by!