Rosie (Lily Collins) and Alex (“Hunger Games” star Sam Claflin) are best friends. We meet them at age 30 briefly at the beginning of the movie in conflict, then flash back to them at age 18 and grow up with them for 12 years over the course of an hour and a half. As 18–year–old Alex so aptly points out in the first 10 minutes of the movie, boy and girl friendships can get a bit weird.
And by a bit weird, it's fairly clear he means "one of them usually falls in love with the other and sometimes both of them fall in love with each other and all is well." Take a guess at which one of those happens in this charming, little UK rom–com.
Cut back to Rosie's 18th birthday, as the movie's "best of" soundtrack blasts Beyonce's "Crazy in Love," Alex and Rosie knock back tequila slammer after tequila slammer and then suddenly kiss. It's sensual, tension–filled and great—and then Rosie falls off her bar stool, hits her head and needs to get her stomach pumped.
The next morning she's forgotten what's happened, but Alex mistakes it for embarrassment about having let him kiss her. So he asks a different girl to the dance, and she goes with a different boy out of spite.
Then life hits them both—hard. Rosie gets pregnant with another guy's baby and Alex goes to Harvard for med school (he has somehow miraculously skipped undergrad). In true cinematic form, the Atlantic Ocean is their biggest obstacle.
The two, being childhood best friends, keep in touch over the years. I'll let you guess what happens eventually, despite many exaggerated issues (including marriages and engagements to other people for both, as well as an actual child for Rosie).
To put it simply, the plot is weak. The story of boy and girl friends falling in love has been done many times before, and this story doesn't offer much original insight.
But the characters themselves are charming as hell, especially Rosie's best friend Ruby who delivers laughs almost every line. And despite the soundtrack being a slightly lazy compilation of "best ofs", they really are the best songs, so we can't totally hate them. And yes, there's even an on–the–nose feature of Salt 'N' Pepa's "Push It" when Rosie gives birth.
The film is enjoyable, but forgettable. Fuzzy–feeling inducing, but only for the time it lasts.
Check out what else we saw at the Philly Film Festival!