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  • Writer's pictureWill Scarbrough

Review: Rosaline

Rosaline is a comedic twist on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet in which the classic love story is told from the perspective of Juliet's cousin Rosaline, who just happens to be Romeo's recent ex-girlfriend. Crushed when Romeo dumps her after meeting Juliet, sharp but idealistic Rosaline schemes to foil the famous romance and win back her guy.

Kaitlyn Dever, Isabela Merced, Sean Teale, Bradley Whitford & Kyle Allen.

Following her quite impressive feature film debut ‘Yes God Yes’, Karen Maine takes a punt at reimagining the classic tale of Romeo and Juliet, but this time, with Gen Z humour. Straight from the get go, Karen establishes the kind of humour and story that will unfold and while I didn’t tend to find the jokes too amusing, there was a certain charm to it which urged me to continue.

In this story, we follow the perspective of Rosaline, who impressed me more than anticipated. While often mean & dismissive, Rosaline was performed delightfully by Kaitlyn Dever and sold me on this reimagined world, without coming across as trying too hard, nor attempting to reach you in ways other performances have in past Shakespeare stories. While doing the best she can, it’s hard to ignore the rather rough script that finds itself more funny than it actually is.

As discussed before, we are through Rosaline’s perspective. However, the film itself forgets this in 2 instances in the film which didn’t offer what we didn’t already know. Isabella Merced, unsurprisingly, was the standout for the entire runtime, totally committing herself to the role while giving Juliet a new fresh interpretation.

Despite its charming leads & occasional funny moments, I felt it lacked in many departments such as directing and music. A department I find to be very important in stories such as medieval romances. The score was too basic that it often got on my nerves affecting how I soaked in each scene as it was happening, wishing it wouldn’t be there at all, which the film would have greatly benefited from. Allowing the audience to attach more to the story and characters, which felt underdeveloped and visually conveyed without purpose.

Even though the 3rd act overstays it’s welcome, I was left with a guilty grin on my face as I said to myself “I quite enjoyed that” & features one of the best f-bomb drops of the year so far. This adaptation will not be for everyone, but if you’re looking for a shorter story to relax and enjoy, Rosaline is my recommendation.

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