Does familiarity truly breed contempt? Do people really become restless and inattentive when faced with something with which they already have an affirmed fluency? When staring down the images of the latest romantic comedy as they flicker across the cinema screen, is there a collective exhausted sigh that rises from the audience, already counting the minutes until the bit at the end in the airport? These are not questions that are asked in Love, Rosie, the latest romantic comedy to flicker across cinema screens. They are merely the questions that tumble forth from someone who does have an affirmed fluency with romantic comedies.
Both the source material and the script it yields are pretty much as predictable as they come, so it’s no real surprise that Love, Rosie is inherently unsurprising. The setup is familiar and the story that unfolds in its wake is equally recognisable. There’s no real deftness or wit about the story or what the characters experience, so it all follows through in precisely the manner you’d expect. This is where the earlier point of familiarity comes in. There will be those who see a film like Love, Rosie as a form of comfort food, a blanket they can wrap themselves in for reassurance of what the film says, that relationships are tough, but love is something worth holding onto. For those who enjoy the familiarity of such stories and sentiments, Love, Rosie will be a welcome addition to the viewing slate.
Director Christian Ditter finds a bit more of a visual texture than a standard rom-com, and certainly finds some nice images here and there, but again finds little to really knock the whole affair up a notch. He doesn’t find much in the way of visual invention or flair in the tale, outside of throwing text message exchanges onto the screen as they happen. It could perhaps be seen as a nice nod to the literary source, engaging with the words of the novel (which unfolds through a series of letters, texts and Skype messages). However, such things have already become rather trite onscreen, so it still feels rather forced.
There’s nothing wrong with offering comfort to those that want it by giving them something safe and familiar. However, you can’t expect something like that have much of a shelf-life or to reach out that far. Love, Rosie isn’t a complicated film. It’s not clever, it’s not profound, nor is it in any way challenging. Perhaps it speaks loudest of all to say that the film’s greatest flaw is its lack of aspirations.
Love, Rosie is out in cinemas now!