#REVIEW: “LOVE, ROSIE”
We’ve always had high hopes for Lily Collins, lovable Daughter of Soft-Rock King Phil Collins. And she actually knows it, thanking me personally for being one of the first people in Canada to recognize her after a chance run-in in Yorkville a few summers ago. Our hopes were dashed when The Mortal Instruments, fronted by Collins herself, under-performed at the Box Office and eventually what was to be a massive Franchise would never have life beyond a first installment. We recall LOVE, ROSIE clearly being filmed in Toronto a Springs ago and when no news of its release came, quietly it faded into the ether and we assumed it was one of those Films which would have a foreign presence only, never seeing the light of day here. When news of its domestic release surfacing – even if limited theatrical and Video-on-Demand only – we were delighted.
Based on the Ceceilia Ahern Novel Where Rainbows End, LOVE, ROSIE amounts to a charming, soapy Rom-Com. The Story centers somewhere in England on two childhood Friends Rosie (Collins) and Alex (The Hunger Games’ Sam Claflin), meeting them first in their late teens. Although never quite admitting her affections for Alex, we the Audience are clear how she feels about him. Alex‘s romantic interest lies in Cool Girl Bethany (Supermodel Suki Waterhouse) and ultimately his attentions are set on studies stateside in Boston. Rosie gets pregnant accidentally with Herb‘s (English Thespian Nick Lee) Baby, which at the time feels like a life sentence. Despite their trans-Atlantic separation, Rosie and Alex maintain their friendship. Rosie struggles as a Single Mom while Alex gets Harvard-educated, falling in-love with Sally (Tamsim Egerton). Unresolved matters between Rosie and Alex lead to rising tension and through a series of pitfalls and impossibly poor timing, we wonder if the stars ever will align for the Two, whom clearly are meant for one another.
Although the Film by Christian Ditter perhaps once too many tests our patience with obstacles, becoming at times a tad unbelievable, we focus on the heart of the Story thanks to an endearing turn from Collins who shows more range here than anything we’ve seen her in to-date. We appreciate the the Story doesn’t shy from some of the unflattering sides of Single Motherhood – the shame and the hunger that comes with loneliness. We also wish that the Mother-Daughter Storyline between Rosie and her Daughter Katie (Lily Laight) was treated a bit more delicately. What we get more is Rosie as the Girl longing for a real love, more than the loving Mother she grows into, which equally is a big part of her maturation and transformation. Claflin embodies more than ably that quintessential Guy in a Rom-Coms who finds out too late in life what he needs (ROSIE!) and we go on a bit of a growing process with him. Also noteworthy is Egerton who leaves an impression as the temperamental American (although she really is English) Princess who steals Alex‘s heart, leaving us rooting that much more for our Heroine, Rosie.
Get the Girls together, get a large bag of Popcorn and let’s do some Toronto-spotting! LOVE, ROSIE gives the Ladies an option at the Movies in an ever-sparse Genre of late. eOne Films release in Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton and Video-on-Demand on Friday, February 6, 2015.