Our lovebirds are Rosie (Lily Collins), and Alex (Sam Claflin) – two inseparable friends, joined at the hip since childhood. But then they became teenagers, and eventually developed feelings for one another, despite neither wanting to admit it. Sharing a passionate – if frustratingly forgotten kiss – when somewhat inebriated at the school prom, it’s that very night when Rosie loses her virginity to her other classmate Greg (Christian Cooke), resulting in an unwanted pregnancy. Such news coincides with Alex’s move to Boston to study medicine – as the pair head down completely different paths, with their seemingly inevitably romance suddenly on the rocks.
Films such as Love, Rosie can only work if the audience are invested in the primary relationship, and genuinely hope that the protagonists will get together. Which is exactly why this picture doesn’t fail, which, given the horribly cliched, mawkish undercurrent to the piece, probably should. But thanks to a natural chemistry and an entertaining, if trashy, on/off romance that takes you off down a variety of twists and turns, it’s difficult not to remain unashamedly engrossed in this narrative, albeit somewhat banal.
Love, Rosie is too fluffy at times however, and brushes over the more consequential, weighty aspects of the narrative with amicability, that while suiting the tone of the piece, deviates carelessly away from some potentially interesting moments – like how we never once see the reaction of Rosie’s parents that she’s pregnant so young, instead just cutting to a sequence where they’re all having lots of jolly good fun around the telly, eating popcorn merrily. You just want to get a sense of conflict in this tale, no matter how minor, and perhaps explore certain themes with more depth, rather than this quick-fire approach, where we move swiftly on to another scene before it ever gets too heavy.
Meanwhile, the flashback sequences are good fun too, taking place in the early years of the new millennium, as we revisit a time with rather less competent technology, with Nokia 3210’s and MSN Messenger playing big parts in this film – representative of the era, and with a knowing nod to a certain generation who could well resonate with this tale. It’s cliched, predictable and unbearable in parts – but it never once loses sight of what it’s trying to achieve, affectionately, and earnestly, adhering to the tropes of the romantic comedy genre, to entertaining effect.