For a while, a couple of months ago, it felt like every book I’d ever read when I was younger was getting the film treatment. Love, Rosie is one of those books. It tells the story of Alex and Rosie, childhood friends who grew up together, and charts their changing relationship as they leave school and move into the more difficult world of adulthood. The teaser trailers released up until now placed a lot of emphasis on Alex and Rosie as teenagers and all of the awkwardness that entails, but with the recent release of the new UK trailer viewers are able to get a better sense of their entire story, from children to adults and all the missed opportunities along the way.
From the opening seconds with its The 1975 soundtrack and its introduction of Lily Collins and Sam Claflin as the leads, Love, Rosie promises to be a feel-good affair of friendship and love that most people will probably be able to relate to until, of course, life gets in the way. With her best friend moving halfway across the world for university and worries of her own back at home, Rosie is forced to grow up quickly with the understanding that life doesn’t always work out the way you want it to.
Both Lily Collins and Sam Claflin appear to be well-cast in their roles, although it probably helps that I have a bit of a girl crush on Collins. I’m not completely sold on her ability to portray the older Rosie of the novel – from the trailer it looks like the older Rosie gets, the worse her hair is styled – but the film is focusing on twelve years in their lives, and not the forty of the novel, and asking the 25-year-old Collins to play 30-year-old Rosie isn’t too much of a stretch. There has also been some doubt about Claflin’s believability as a stuttering, awkward teenage boy following the success of his portrayal of the gorgeous and charming Finnick Odair in The Hunger Games series but, right now, I’m convinced. If you clicked play on the trailer earlier then you’ll be aware of the moment I’m thinking of when I write that.
The novel the film is based on, Where Rainbows End by Cecilia Ahern, is built around the exchange of e-mails and letters but I think that the development of technology in the ten years since the book was published really helps the evolution of the story. It feels a lot more believable for teenagers and young adults to be keeping in touch online, through short video messages recorded on mobile phones and video chats on laptops then it does to have them sit down and write physical letters to one another to be posted by air mail. That could just be my generational upbringing talking but what works in novels doesn’t always translate to film and in cinema creating the visual story is a lot more important than source-fidelity, and our wold of instant-communication works wonders on the film’s narrative.
I’m excited to see this movie when it’s released in cinemas on October 22nd. The trailer could probably be criticised for giving too much of the plot away but I’m hoping that the two leads will be able to make the film about the story of the characters’ relationship and not necessarily about everything that happens along the way. There are some beautiful moments in the trailer and the soundtrack sounds like a good mix, so right now, I’m inclined to appreciate this film for what it’s set itself up to be: an upbeat comedy with a heart-warming relationship at its core.