#FIRSTLOOK: “LOVE SARAH”
By Mr. Will Wong
Eliza Schroeder makes her feature directorial debut in LOVE SARAH and if you love sweets and light-hearted Romance, this is for you.
The Film centers a young woman named Clarissa (Shannon Tarbet) who loses her mother Sarah prematurely. Just before her death, her mother was just about to launch a bakery in Notting Hill with her best friend Isabella (Shelley Conn). Clarissa convinces her grandmother Mimi (Celia Imrie) to join together with Isabella in hopes of continuing her mother’s dream.
While there is a bit of reluctance, the venture takes off and in comes Matthew (Rupert Penry-Jones), a former flame of Sarah’s, who also happens to be the pastry chef they need. While she’s convinced she is not a pastry chef despite having had aspirations of it like Sarah, Isabella rediscovers herself in learning to bake for the sake of her business venture. While the business struggles to take off, we wonder what it will take for them to adapt and succeed as they all in their own way are grieving the loss of Sarah.
It is tough to pick apart a Film that is meant to be harmless as this. LOVE SARAH if all else fails, is an endless parade of delectable sweets carried by strong performances from Conn and Imrie, who is charming, though underutilized. And in the mix is a bit of Romance which is stifled by the business and unresolved issues of years past.
While the Film centers on grieving, Sarah‘s absence isn’t built-up in a way where we feel she is the reason everyone is putting aside their differences and reservations to make this bakery venture happen and that is a missed opportunity in Jake Brunger‘s script. Films which tackle grieving in a compelling way often have a way of making the deceased character still feel very present through the actions of their survivors and LOVE SARAH is missing that bit of soul. Nevertheless, we still were entertained wondering where it all would end even if the Film never quite looks deeply enough within its characters to understand their loss. Just please don’t come at us if you are craving Lamingtons and Mille Crepe Cake after seeing this.
Vortex Media release LOVE SARAH on-demand and digitally Friday, January 15, 2021.