A documentary filmmaker, played by Lilly James, makes a film about her childhood friend’s, played by Shazad Latif, arranged marriage.
The romantic set-up in this film is incredibly obvious to the point where it crosses over into cliché, everyone knows going in that James’s character is going to fall for Latif’s that is part of the unspoken agreement of the film. However, what isn’t known is that this film is worlds away from other rom-coms such as Love Actually, Crazy Rich Asians, Boxing Day etc by the fact that it is not a comedy at all.
I would argue that this film is not a rom-com, more so a romantic drama film with a schmaltzy ending that tries to undo a lot of its more depressing aspects but doesn’t really come anywhere near close enough. This film is depressing at times manically so, and that really is its greatest fault. Whether it is Lilly James saying how all the Disney princesses were depressed, her incredibly toxic relationship with her mum, played by Emma Thompson, or the fact that the arranged marriage actually happens although you knowing the genre think it won’t, this film knows how to upset you. There were multiple moments in the film where I found myself wanting to leave as it was so depressing I was no longer having fun at the cinema.
I think the great bane of this film is that despite James and Latif giving reasonably serviceable performances this rom-com lacks any kind of warmth or charm at all and that makes the film off-putting.
Overall, this film does the one thing a rom-com never should do, be depressing.
James and Latif try their best to save this film
It is depressing
It is not by any means a fun watch
The ending feels like it is over compensating
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