Rating: 3.5 / 5
Filmgoers hoping that this movie promises a ‘spicy’ night at the cinema will be disappointed, but those who love a quirky feel-good British romance will be happy.
Juliet doesn’t actually exist—it’s merely a reference to a rough recording that American music legend Tucker Crowe (Ethan Hawke) forgot about.
Annie (Rose Byrne) manages a museum in a small English coastal town where suitable partners are thin on the ground, so she has settled for a long-term relationship with an academic, Duncan (Chris O’Dowd), whose ego can best be described as painful, and who runs an internet chat room with fellow devotees of Tucker Crowe, who hasn’t released any new work for years.
Annie is sick of hearing about the great Tucker Crowe, so under a pseudonym she offers a scathing chat room opinion of this long-lost recording. Tucker reads it, agrees with it, and an internet transatlantic romance begins.
Tucker has a chequered romantic history with several wives and various offspring, but has finally grown up, lives in the garage of an ex-wife and takes on the responsibility of caring for their little son Jackson (Azhy Robertson), to whom Tucker means the world.
Meeting obsessed fans can be tricky, especially if that fan’s girlfriend is now the hero’s romantic interest. This means there is plenty of scope for clashes and witty lines, achieved with the lovely English quirkiness that was also a feature in scriptwriter Nick Hornby’s earlier film About A Boy.
While the pace can be a little slow, this charming film is a mix of imperfect characters, most of them past the first flush of youth, all trying to make the best of their lives.
They are the kind of people you might live next door to, who lead ordinary lives just trying to do the best they can. The humanity and kindness shown by everyone except egomaniac Duncan makes this a heartwarming film, true to life and with lots of chuckles—but it’s not all tied up in a pretty pink bow at the end.
+ Delightful performances from Ethan Hawke and Rose Byrne
– Coarse language and adult themes