Almost every romantic comedy cliche is present and accounted for in Love, Rosie, a disappointing adaptation of Cecelia Ahern’s bestselling 2004 novel Where Rainbows End.
Directed by Christian Ditter, the film stars Lily Collins as the titular Rosie, who has been best friends with Alex (Sam Claflin) since childhood. Feelings begin to blossom between the pair in their teenage years but the mutual attraction is never admitted, and when an unplanned pregnancy befalls Rosie just as Alex heads to Boston to pursue his career, the two are forced to go their separate ways. The connection between them never dissipates though, and throughout the next twelve years their lives frequently intertwine
The will-they-won’t-they narrative arc is one that has formed the bedrock for many a rom-com in times past. The secret to their success lies in getting the audience to invest in the central couple so that the inevitable triumph and every near miss in between evokes a reaction. Despite the easy, likeable chemistry between Collins and Claflin, Love, Rosie never quite manages this, its clichéd script making it difficult to fully fall for the romance. That’s not the only flaw in the screenplay either; the film gets more saccharine the closer it gets to its conclusion, while we never get too much depth on our characters beyond the romance.
Though they’re not helped by having to play their characters from 18 to 30, Claflin and Collins are likeable enough in the lead roles, the latter giving a lively, emotive performance that is at times enough to elevate the lacklustre screenplay. They’re joined by a solid supporting cast too, with Jaime Winstone particularly entertaining as Rosie’s friend and confidant Ruby.
With that said, Love, Rosie is ultimately a romantic comedy that’s not particularly romantic or funny, and the enjoyable performances from its talented stars fail to make it more than a forgettable entry into the genre.