Non-Transferable is the kind of film that gave me everything I didn’t know I was looking for in a rom-com. I’ll admit to being picky about them, but between the clever script, and cast that are literally tailored (see what I did there?) for their roles combined with the scenery, this movie makes for an unique experience.
The story starts with Ashley Clement’s Amy Tyler, who has pre-planned a “nontransferable” dream vacation for her and her “perfect” boyfriend Josh Merit in Europe for their anniversary, specifically Turkey. Unfortunately all her planning couldn’t keep the complication of her boyfriend breaking up with her in the jerkiest fashion I’ve seen on screen (I mean seriously responding with “are you breaking up with me” with “if that’s what you want” what an ass) right before this surprise vacation. To top it off she’s booted out and bunking with her two girlfriends Marci & Sandra, awesome dynamic ladies in their own right, and left with a nontransferable vacation she can’t get a refund on.
So after pizza and wine they come up with a relatively (aka a lot) crazy plan to swap out the guy with a different “Josh Merit” so Amy doesn’t have to give up the trip she’s meticulously planned and spent thousands of dollars on. After a much welcome appearance by Daniel Gordh as an arrogant singer that screams more than he sings she lands a Joshua Merit (played by writer & director Brendan Bradley) who agrees to accompany a stranger on a two week Europe trip.
From the start these two are the picture of never getting along in the most hilarious fashion, especially as she’s trying to force him to down scotch as he has a fear of flying and is promptly screaming/vomiting as they take off for Istanbul. (It makes more sense when you see it I promise)
After some hilarious physicality (ok more like jaw dropping NICE ABS BRENDAN) these two are off on a tour and to a restaurant that I’m pretty sure if I had the money I’d be flying to Turkey tomorrow just to go eat there.
When you get to the point in the evening where, she’s insisting on the difference between a travel agent and herself a “Global Concierge” is when I started melting. The effortless way she charms him with nothing but her confidence, experience and knowledge about travel made me appreciate how the leading man/writer himself didn’t let this be a normal clash to chemistry story. He genuinely starts to like her for being herself, especially when she admits she gave up a life she loved because of the real world setting in.
Following along her plan they run into a series of understandable obstacles that can naturally happen when you fly to the other side of the world, but Amy’s stubborn desire to stick to what she wanted leads to an even greater adventure with Joshua. The kind where you wander and discover and see the things you didn’t plan for and more importantly the person you least expected to enjoy it with.
When he catches up to her at the coffee shop (that he literally *tracked her down at* oh boy you’ve already got it bad dude) he finds her running down their schedule. Good old fashioned honesty about how this trip ended up going & a literal olive branch convinces Amy to throw out the itinerary and simply explore. (The fact that he speaks Turkish & several other languages is both helpful and sexy, but where was I?) Oh yes they’re smiling and happy in this montage that ends up with hand holding that you try to ignore but secretly love.
Taking a break to say what I liked most about the story is the pace they set it at. It wasn’t really fast or slow, but their own. When you’re traveling you don’t keep track of time the same way you do when you’re at home in your routine and they portrayed that well. Since they were either following a timetable or flying by the seat of their pants to get where they were going (not literally flying since I imagine vomiting once was enough for Joshua, haha.)
Sadly all good love stories are never smooth and the hill our adorable couple (I feel safe enough to use this word you saw the boat scenes!) hits turns out to be a secret that I felt I should have seen coming, but didn’t think was completely out of the ballpark. I know people might rail against Joshua for doing what he did, but let’s face it guys when you’re scared like that and a stranger literally hands you the chance to run to the other side of the world from your problems it’s not a hard choice.
I do wish I could say the same for Amy and the engagement ring. Don’t you know whenever you put on jewelry that’s meant for other women in a romantic comedy it’ll inevitably end up stuck on your finger? Ring antics aside, Amy had every right to feel angry even up to the point where he sawed a $3000 dollar ring just to get it safely off her finger.
The heartbreak sets in when Joshua decides to cash in his return ticket to find his girlfriend back home, admitting her honest affair. I didn’t think I’d ever type that, but how else do you explain a couple honestly talking about why they shouldn’t get married with another hot guy sitting in his boxers?
Strange situations aside, it does enough to kick his ass into gear to literally JUMP INTO WATER LIKE THEY DID TO CATCH THE BOAT THEY FIRST KISSED ON, around the world to get Amy’s attention.
Coming round to the end after apparently three months (?!) of water traveling per her lovely friend Sandra Amy catches onto what he’s been doing. In true form (and after some classic best friend coercion, yes you know what kind I’m talking about) she puts her thoughts out on the internet. What follows is one of the sweetest monologues I’ve ever heard while laying your heart on the line. In particular this I agree with whole heartedly
“Happiness doesn’t have to be temporary or special. There’s no reason your whole life can’t feel like a vacation if you find the right person.”
Joshua comes in (dragged by Marci, love you girl) to equally lay his heart on the line and if there was a better way to end this wonderful crazy journey of a movie I challenge you right here right now!
Honestly, I cannot say enough about the strengths of the cast, and clear effort put into this film far outweigh the moments when the “slightly over the top” comes through.
Not just for the two leads, for the appearances of her two awesome lady friends I mentioned above have Amy’s back and it made happy to see a romantic comedy that actually tapped in on what a person might actually do, if faced in this kind of situation. Maybe not one where you’re traveling Europe with a stranger, but one if you’re trying to fight feelings for someone you just met after a bad breakup. Albeit within the first 24 called them an alcoholic, tried to hide his muscular frame on your webcam and then made a bet over who gets the one bed. Did I mention this movie was different?
If you’re a travel nerd be prepared to freak out over the scenery, and frankly anything to do with getting to see different places, try food you can’t find anywhere else and just letting loose. I’m also a big Pemberly Digital/Shipwrecked Comedy fan, so basically every actor I recognized from the LBD, Victoria Frankenstein, Edgar Allen Poe’s Murder Mystery Dinner Party and more I’m probably missing gave me a thrill to see so many of these actors I’ve loved on Youtube on the big digital screen.
From start to finish, I loved every minute of this adventure and was cracking up at the clever wit and heart at the center of this production. This Valentine’s Day if you’re with a loved one and want to enjoy a good rom-com I highly recommend this one. It’s the romantic comedy I didn’t know I needed in my life.
As they say the vacation doesn’t have to end, if you’re watching it with the right person :)
Non Transferable releases on all digital platforms today February 14th.
P.S. (as all love notes have one of course) If you’re curious for more behind the scenes action take a look at the official twitter account here!