Love, Rosie (2014, Christian Ditter)

Rosie and Alex have been best friends forever. They have the same sense of humour, they’re perfectly in-sync, they probably finish each other’s sentences as well, but they’re not together.

Love, Rosie is an inoffensive comedy-of-errors following Rosie (Lily Collins) and Alex (Sam Claflin) over the course of twelve-years as they get close, pull apart and contrive to stave off the inevitable into their thirties.

Rosie and Alex occupy a universe in which romantic comedies seemingly do not exist, falling pray to absurd plot developments that get in the way of the happiness they desire.

Tired of England, Alex moves to America to study medicine with Rosie joining him later to pursue hotel management, but she becomes pregnant after a one-night- stand, opting to stay in England to raise her daughter, Katie.

They both enter relationships with demonstrably ill-suited people just as one of them is ready to confess their feelings – honour bound by genre convention to pursue lesser relationships instead. Their cross-continental separation even allows for the requisite race-against-time –to- stop-the-wedding sequence, sans Simon and Garfunkel.

The contrivances in the first half of the film are perfectly enjoyable thanks to strong turns from the two leads who have excellent, believable on-screen chemistry. Lily Collins in particular carries the film with a natural charm.

Unfortunately, for a film spanning twelve-years, it struggles to control the passage of time effectively as even Collins and Claflin fail to keep the second half from sagging under its own repetitive formula. In one instance, the estranged father of Katie re-emerges to the understandable scorn of Rosie. One montage later and Rosie marries him. “We’re a family,” Rosie tells a friend. If only it was that easy with Alex.

In fact, Rosie and Alex barely appear to age at all from 18 to 30 – you suspect another five years added on to the story and Rosie’s daughter would have eventually caught up with her.

Sometimes things just don’t work out. Except in films like Love, Rosie where they always do. (5)

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