Sometimes, I think that people criticize a movie, for the sake of sounding like they paid attention in English class and learned how to use big words. I want to pat them on the back, tell them congratulations, and slip them a quarter for their attempts to sound smart and angling for their Rotten Tomatoes membership.
I am fully aware that makes me sound like an asshole, but what critics tend to forget is that not every movie is trying to win an Oscar. Some are meant to just be entertaining and to enjoy. Not everything is an intellectual conversation on what should, could, and would be done. Sometimes, it’s just meant to be a good time.
And Rosaline is definitely meant to be a good time. It’s meant to entertain. It’s meant to be fun.
And the movie accomplishes just that.
A lot of reviews that I have read have talked about Shakespeare, how it takes away from his work, how it makes a mockery of Shakespeare. And if you’re going that deep – we need to have a talk – because nothing can ever take away from Romeo & Juliet.
What Rosaline has actually done has taken a lesser known character from the Shakespearean classic and given us a story around her. It has given me the great pleasure of explaining to a few young people in my life that you need to actually read Romeo & Juliet.
I haven’t told them yet that the character of Rosaline is but a mere mention in that, but we can talk about that later.
Rosaline is based on Rebecca Serle‘s book, When You Were Mine. And the greatest thing about Rosaline (to me) is that it maintain’s the heart of the book, while cleverly bringing a spin that wasn’t expected, but fit. The reason that it largely fit was because of the genius that is Kaitlyn Dever.
I think that we can all agree that Dever is a treasure. She’s a multi talented actress that can deliver comedic lines with such a deadpan seriousness, that you can’t help but laugh.
In the movie, Dever plays Rosaline, who has been secretly seeing Romeo Montague. She of course has to keep it a secret, because the Montague’s and the Capulet’s don’t get a long. Yet, Rosaline gives no f**ks, because she wants a life that isn’t available in Verona (so she thinks).
Before I even go further what I have to say is that part of what I love so much about this movie, is that it reminder for girls that they don’t have to be bound by the expectations that society sets for them. They can trail-blaze their own way.
And that’s a beautiful thing that we need to remind ourselves of. We have to stand up for ourselves and claim the lives that we want.
She’s obsessed with Romeo and is focused on him. It doesn’t matter how many dates that her father sets her up on to try and marry her off. She doesn’t even see what is right in front of her when she meets the handsome Dario. Instead, she’s focused on Romeo and making sure that her cousin Juliet does not end up with him.
I can’t help but love a romantic comedy and appreciate it for what it is. It’s funny to see a movie set in the past with modern day dialogue. It keeps the viewer laughing, entertained, and engrossed in the movie. And this movie is a romantic comedy, yes, but what it also is, is a coming of age story.
Because both Rosaline and Juliet are doing just that – growing up.
While Rosaline sets out to break up Romeo and Juliet, you can’t help but watch and remember the times that your heart has been broken in life and the way that you may have reacted. Especially your first time of being heart broken. You’re both rooting for and against Rosaline, in her quest to break them up. Why? Because you’ve been there in life, but you’ve also known what it’s like to move on.
You do see that Rosaline is moving on, though fighting it like we all have in our lives. After all, who wants to let go of first love? No one. Ultimately though, we do. Granted Rosaline’s is under extreme circumstances.
There is just something refreshing about Rosaline. As such a fan of the book that it was based off of, I have to admit that it was nothing that I was expecting, but everything I needed.
Rosaline is a delight, that allows the viewer to have a good time watching it and the romantic in all of us to appreciate the loves that we’ve had in our lives.
And at the very least – it will just be a good way to spend 95 minutes of your life.