Love, Rosie is directed by Christian Ditter who has done nothing of note unless you’ve seen The Crocodiles (2009) or The Crocodiles Strike Back (2010). Sadly he didn’t return for The Crocodiles: All For One (2011) but did write the story. The screenplay was written by Juliette Towhidi who has limited writing credits but did write Calendar Girls (2003) and wrote some of the TV episodes of Death Comes to Pemberley (2013). The film is based on a novel written by Cecelia Ahern that was published in 2004. The two stars of the film are Lily Collins and Sam Claflin.
The story centres on two friends, Rosie (Collins) and Alex (Claflin), who have known each other since they were five. The film opens in the current day before quickly jumping back 12 years to when the two of them are just 18. Love, Rosie then tells the will they, won’t they, tale of apparently doomed love as circumstance and poor decisions keep them apart.
The positives about the film – I laughed when a Doctor called Dick was introduced. That’ll make more sense if you go and see this film. The rest of it is awful. Where to begin. The single biggest problem is that it suffers from Amazing Spider-Man 2 disease on steroids. The tone veers wildly from broad farce to sincere moments with the little baby. Love, Rosie has no idea what it really wants to be.
The way the romantic tension is set up is as subtle as a bulldozer running over the rhino as it leaves the china shop. Each character makes a series of really terrible decisions with regards to their love life with people you just can’t see them ending up with, with the inevitable failure. I’m not saying that intelligent people can’t make dumb decisions but I just don’t buy the way the film try’s to explain it away.
There are massive holes in the story. Rosie ends up becoming best friends with the young lady who was working in the chemist that she buys the pregnancy test from. The film makes no attempt to show this relationship develop. We jump ahead in time and there she is. Rosie’s mother disappears from the film for what feels like an eternity and isn’t anywhere to be seen at a key event in the film. Rosie comes into some money as a result of this event (although it’s not explained quite why she was entitled to the money) which is enough to buy a large hotel by the sea to help her dreams come true. There’s also the small matter of the brother of an ex-girlfriend of Alex’s who for some reason remains friends with the group and ends up with Rosie’s chemist friend. No explanation for why or how.
I think I’ve covered the main problems with the film. I spent a sleepless night mulling over how terrible this film was – I made a bold statement on leaving the cinema saying it was the worst film I had seen this year. When you think of the rubbish I’ve seen in 2014 that’s saying something. My wife said I was being too harsh and Walking on Sunshine (2014) remained the biggest piece of crap of the year. Hence I tried to compare the films scene-by-scene, pondering the acting performances, the dialogue etc etc. The result … sorry my dear, this is my least favourite film of the year to date. The main reason – Walking on Sunshine was bad but it had a clear identity of what it wanted to be albeit badly executed. This film was badly executed and had no idea what it wanted to be.