Wednesday, March 29, 2023

A British romcom relies on fresh faces

    Refreshingly young, full of trendy banter, and respectful of romcom conventions, Rye Lane proves itself to be one of the year's happiest movies. 
    Directed in a peppy upbeat style by Raine Allen-Miller, Rye Lane brings new British faces to a movie revolving around a South London neighborhood. Rye Lane, by the way, is the area's colorful main drag. 
   Newcomers David Jonsson (as Dom) and Vivian Oparah (as Yas) star as two 20somethings who recently experienced breakups. 
   Sad and weepy, Dom acts as if he'll never regain his confidence. Bubbly and spirited, Yas takes the opposite approach, viewing the world as an ongoing adventure, an open book with pages she’s eager to turn.
   Based on an opposites-attract paradigm, the movie brings Dom and Yas together for a chance encounter in the bathroom of a pub. The two then spend a day together. True to form, Dom gradually yields to Yas's impulsive verve. 
  As Dom warms up, the banter that emerges from a screenplay by Nathon Byron and Tom Melia proves amusing and seldom (thank heaven) annoyingly glib. It's wonderful to see two young actors having a great time bouncing lines off each other. 
   As the film unfolds, both Dom and Yas encounter their former lovers (Malcolm Atobrah and Karene Peter) in scenes that add genuine helpings of comedy to the romcom equation. 
   Better yet, the Caribbean/British vibe of the neighborhood functions as a welcoming third character.
   The music is catchy with tracks from Stormzy, Musical Mob, Roy Davis Jr., and Blake Lab Beats featuring Ghetto Boy. I'd never heard of these British HipHoppers, but their contribution constitutes another plus.
   Still, none of the movie’s nicely employed trappings would have mattered had Jonsson and Oparah not been perfectly cast.
  They engage. They charm. And they help turn Rye Lane into an hour and 22 minutes of amiable fun.

No comments: