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Love, Rosie DVD Review

Love, Rosie (2015) movie poster Love, Rosie

US Theatrical Release: February 6, 2015 (UK Release: October 22, 2014) / Running Time: 103 Minutes / Rating: R

Director: Christian Ditter / Writers: Cecelia Ahern (novel Where Rainbows End), Juliette Towhidi (screenplay)

Cast: Lily Collins (Rosie Dunne), Sam Claflin (Alex Stewart), Christian Cooke (Greg), Jaime Winstone (Ruby), Suki Waterhouse (Bethany Williams), Tamsin Egerton (Sally), Jamie Beamish (Phil), Lorcan Cranitch (Dennis Dunne), Ger Ryan (Alice Dunne), Lily Laight (Katie - 12 yrs), Matthew Dillon (Toby - 12 yrs), Rosa Molloy (Katie - 5 yrs), Sadbh Malin (Clare), Nick Lee (Herb Snæfellsjökullsson), Damien Devaney (Man in the Lift), Ciaran McGlynn (Dick)

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American moviegoers might recognize Lily Collins from The Blind Side and Mirror Mirror and Sam Claflin as Finnick Odair from the Hunger Games sequels.
But those moviegoers apparently are not yet ready to embrace the young British actors as leads of a movie. Love, Rosie, a romantic comedy from their native UK, barely played in North American theaters and then came to DVD with little fanfare.

Collins and Claflin play Rosie Dunne and Alex Stewart, lifelong best friends who, it's obvious to us, are destined for love. We spend over twelve years with the besties, starting in earnest with Rosie's drunken 18th birthday after a tease of a wedding day toast at age 30. Rosie and Alex each attend their high school's big dance with other people, neither fully understanding or appreciating their feelings for the other. Still, afterwards, the BFFs plan to head to Massachusetts for the next phase of their life. Alex hopes to enroll at Harvard Medical School (straight out of high school?), while Rosie just might study hotel management at Boston College (or Boston University, as the two institutions are strangely spoken of interchangeably).

Those plans are dashed by an unplanned pregnancy, which Rosie keeps secret from Alex (who's not the father) while he's abroad. Rosie plans to give her baby up for adoption, but life has other plans and soon she's a full-time mother, kept up at night by daughter Katie's colic. Alex doesn't stand idly, moving in with Sally (Tamsin Egerton), an American classmate. Other love interests pop up for each bestie, including the handsome father of Rosie's baby (Christian Cooke) and a gorgeous classmate who has become a famous supermodel (Suki Waterhouse).

Just when it looks like Rosie might come to her senses and profess her love for Alex, he's suddenly unavailable and vice-versa. This schedular incompatibility complicates life and love for both parties into their early thirties, which is where the movie ends.

Sun artfully peeks out behind Rosie Dunne (Lily Collins) and Alex Stewart (Sam Claflin), BFFs who don't realize they should be more.

Love, Rosie is highly reminiscent of the romantic comedies of Richard Curtis, specifically his latest, the faintly fantastical About Time. If you're making a romantic comedy film in the UK, then Curtis is the man to emulate. His films, including Love Actually, Notting Hill, and Four Weddings and a Funeral have played remarkably well on both sides of the Atlantic, their wit and characters transcending the blatant and predictable tropes of the genre.

Rosie is not nearly as good as Curtis' best, but it has a similar appeal. I was tempted to assume that the screenplay by Juliette Towhidi (Calendar Girls) was probably autobiographical, until I saw that the writer was adapting Where Rainbows End, a 2004 book by young Irish novelist Cecelia Ahern, also responsible for P.S. I Love You and the ABC comedy "Samantha Who?" There is enough detail to the story to assume a personal nature and to invest in these characters, one of whom (the titular Rosie) is fairly well-defined.

The wielded R rating is somewhat surprising for what seems like it could be a teen-oriented romcom, but you've got to respect the film for not conforming to the conventional wisdom of a commonplace PG-13. Curtis has similarly embraced the MPAA's more restrictive label, sometimes to still fruitful commercial returns. Like a Curtis movie, Rosie earns its R with language and some sexual content.

Rosie (Lily Collins) works toward her hotelier dreams with her magenta haired pharmacist turned friend Ruby (Jaime Winstone) by her side.

Given its long-view relationship, the film surprises by altogether avoiding nostalgia. One assumes the twelve years depicted are more or less the past twelve, the same ones Richard Linklater spent making Boyhood.

But while Linklater made deliberate references to current events and cultural phenoms, Towhidi and German director Christian Ditter (making his English language debut) show no interest in dating their story. Rosie is inconsistent in its portrayal of texting technology, though it also seems to take place in an alternate universe where teenagers IM with perfect, proper grammar and spelling. I'll admit that design is preferable to the more realistic alternative.

Ditter shares Curtis' taste for the needle drop, though Rosie relies much more on recent pop, dance and hip hop than on the '60s and '70s rock Curtis clearly treasures. Rosie boasts a bigger music licensing budget than you would imagine for what must be a reasonably thrifty production. It's not like there's a Julia Roberts or Hugh Grant at the height of stardom here and Ahern's novel wasn't nearly as popular as Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones books.

The movie's problems are easily noticed but relatively minor. It does stumble at comedy, its off-key bits dragging down a movie that isn't so bad when it's taking its characters seriously. There are a couple of contrived touches, which actually might put this in contention for a record low in the genre. Also, Collins, who is somehow now 26, looks too young to play any older than 23, which makes it a stretch to buy her as a 30-year-old whose daughter is discovering her own best friend might just be her one true love.

Backed by minor distributor The Film Arcade, Rosie spent a single week in February in fifteen North American theaters. It grossed just $20 thousand, a far cry from the $14 million it previously earned in other parts of the world, performing best (but never outstandingly) in Germany, South Korea, Brazil, Australia, Italy, and, of course, the UK. Like some other Film Arcade theatrical titles, Love, Rosie reached home video from Paramount, who released it to DVD, but not Blu-ray earlier this month.

Love, Rosie DVD cover art -- click to buy from Amazon.com DVD Details

2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Dolby Digital 5.1 (English)
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
Closed Captioned
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Single-sided, dual-layered disc (DVD-9)
Suggested Retail Price: $29.99
Black Eco-Friendly Keepcase
Also available on Amazon Instant Video


Nicely photographed and full of sunlight and color, Love, Rosie looks all right on DVD, though it's tough these days to be wowed by plain old standard definition. The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack repeatedly allows some of the abundant licensed music to provide a dynamic jolt. The overloud excerpts are a bit much at times. The accents can also be a bit thick. Both features may compel you to make use of the white English subtitles.

In spite of their DVD's lack of bonus features, Rosie and Alex remain happy.


Paramount has pretty much stopped including any bonus features on new films' DVDs. Whether it's their doing or of producing studio Constantine Films, Love, Rosie is no exception to that policy.

The only things accompanying the film are the disc-opening trailers for Project Almanac, Rudderless, and Boyhood, all of which also play from the menu's "Previews" listing.

That static, silent main menu simply adapts the cover art.

It probably goes without saying that no disc art or slipcover jazz up the packaging, a plain black Eco-Box keepcase. There is, however, an insert promoting the Cecelia Ahern novel, which now sports movie tie-in art in paperback.

Rosie (Lily Collins) uses her pregnancy bump to balance a bowl of popcorn in "Love, Rosie."


Love, Rosie is a little above average for a romantic comedy, but still fairly middle of the road compared to cinema at large. This Richard Curtisian British movie isn't much of a comedy, but its journey to a predictable conclusion proves to be surprisingly substantial and investable. If you're a fan of the genre or of the two lead actors, you'll probably find this worth a look.

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Reviewed May 27, 2015.

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