Rosie and Alex have been best friends since they were 5, so they couldn't possibly be right for one another...or could they? When it comes to love, life and making the right choices, these two are their own worst enemies.
Life changes in an instant for young Mia Hall after a car accident puts her in a coma. During an out-of-body experience, she must decide whether to wake up and live a life far different than she had imagined. The choice is hers if she can go on.
From the age of 5 Rosie Dunne and Alex Stewart have been best friends, as they take on life they just end up getting separated time and time again. When it comes to love it's just everyone else but each other... But when will they realise they are meant to be together?
Sam Claflin and Lily Collins play Alex and Rosie, whom we watch grow from childhood friends to awkward adults, separated by sea but bound by heart. Bless. No contrivance is left uncontrived to keep them apart. Bad relationships. Babies. Even worse relationships. It's life, Jim, but not as we know it. Fans of the book may be dismayed to learn that the film deviates from the text in the final act – although by then they might actually be glad we're not going the whole hog.
Conspicuously boring, the film lifelessly portrays the lives of two remarkably cute yet determinedly unremarkable people who seem to be making a conscious effort to build a semi-tragic love story while leaving a trail of half-loved partners in their wake. It's all building to an inevitable kiss. Unfortunately, a combination of poor editing, and rapid-onset attention deficit syndrome on my part, meant I went through the movie under the misapprehension that Alex and Rosie had already got jiggy at the start, which may have undermined some of the climactic impact.
The supporting cast is comprised of pantomime villain boyfriends, poisonously bitchy girlfriends, and an infinitely accommodating pro-life Catholic family. Rosie's best friend is one of those handily not-quite-as-pretty mates (Jaime Winstone) who says things bluntly and whose impossibly simple personal philosophy acts solely to highlight the needless complications of Rosie's own life.
This is a ruthlessly formulaic movie in which I lost count of the occasions that Alex or Rosie would come to the conclusion that they love each other, only to discover in the same instant that the other was committed elsewhere. Each dull revelation is followed by empowering montage, propelled by a listless soft rock soundtrack. The early slapstick humour – all baby vomit and lost condoms – is Carry On funny (by which I mean not funny) and gives way to more "grown-up" jokes of the blandly observational variety. Nothing that hasn't been noticed by countless Saturday night stand-ups.
This is unreal life depicted as a series of poetic coincidences, giving the illusion of fate. It's utterly disingenuous. What, perhaps, wistful 14-year-olds might imagine adult relationships are like. The rest of us are thinking: Get over it. Man up or move on. Somewhere there may be an interesting film to made about the way in which bleeding heart romantics skilfully maintain unconsummated tension over time, but this isn't it.
Claflin and Collins are likable leads, and with a decent script and a plausible story they might have showed some chemistry. But it's hard to connect cinematically over text, Skype, and eye-rolling narrative contrivance. I fear that audiences may find it similarly hard to connect with this film.
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