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‘Love, Rosie’ Review: Lumpy Yet Charming

love rosie lily collins sam claflin

Love, Rosie is a film that adopts bits and pieces of other romantic comedies (namely Four Weddings and a Funeral), slotting them into its plot as the movie chugs along.

This makes it less than groundbreaking, but who goes to a romantic comedy to be surprised? Most rom-coms have their roots deeply entrenched in various forms of the Hollywood Happy Ending, and don’t worry — Love, Rosie isn’t any different in this regard. Love, Rosie isn’t bold like Obvious Child, or nearly as enthralling as the Zoe Kazan and Daniel Radcliffe vehicle What If, but arguably, it’s more ambitious than both.

Documenting the numerous years that pass by for two childhood friends, Rosie (Lily Collins) and Alex (Sam Claflin), Love, Rosie is a fun and inoffensive way to spend an afternoon, even if its time jumping is a little lumpy, and Sam Claflin feels slightly lost among the material that sends him off to Harvard fairly early on in the plot. It’s just this movement, though (of Claflin’s character moving abroad), that allows the true story of the film to blossom.

Rosie, after losing her virginity on the night of her final school ball, accidentally falls pregnant, the morning after pill be damned. She’s been accepted into Boston University to study hotel management, and is ready to follow Alex who has won a scholarship, when suddenly, her teenage dreams for the future are put on hold.

Once a girl that had goals of owning her own hotel, Rosie is suddenly shunted into another life: that of a single mother. So while Alex is studying medicine, eventually becoming a surgeon, Rosie is left to pick up work at a hotel as a cleaner and the two drift further and further away from each other. But as the years pass and Rosie’s position gets higher and higher, her personal and professional life both becoming more and more secure, Alex’s begins to disintegrate without her.

Sam Claflin and Lily Collins are an appealing on-screen duo, but it’s Collins’ story as Rosie that garners more interest, with Alex’s narrative falling a little bit flat in comparison. Rosie’s a mother, a professional working woman and someone that is strong enough to pick both herself and her daughter up from the whirlwind mess that her daughter’s father leaves behind. Love, Rosie tries to address love, grief and the time frame that unites them both, and while it doesn’t always work, Alex and Rosie retain a relationship that both we as the audience and the characters themselves yearn for throughout.

Love, Rosie is a little middling, but it’s awfully sweet, too.

two and a half stars

Love, Rosie will hit theaters in the U.S. in 2015.