“Rye Lane”

Only those with a heart of stone will be able to resist the charms of “Rye Lane,” a real charmer of a debut feature from director Raine Allen-Miller. Written by Nathan Bryon and Tom Melia, this vibrant, witty romantic comedy ushers in a breath of fresh air for the genre.

Love hurts and relationships aren’t easy, and twentysomethings Dom (David Jonsson) and Yas (Vivian Oparah) are both in a daze over bad break-ups. As fate would have it, they cross paths one day when Yas overhears Dom crying in a bathroom stall. Both dealing with recent splits from their partners, the two form a deeper connection over the course of one day in their South London neighborhood. They bounce around together, experiencing a bit of joy while they forget about their exes.

It’s a simple story about restoring faith in romance, but Allen-Miler’s vibrant, original voice lends a dynamic, contemporary feel to this different kind of romantic comedy. Her original visual style is as energetic as her storytelling, with colorful cinematography and a fast-paced narrative (and equally rapid-fire dialogue with a lot of British slang). The story moves quickly with a sharp sense of humor (the film’s most memorable moment, which is sure to become a fan favorite, takes place over a very funny lunch date).

The biggest and brightest element of the film is the cast, specifically the two leads. Oparah and Jonsson have pitch-perfect chemistry, which is so important to a romantic comedy. They are charming, witty, and endearing, making them easy to spend time with.

“Rye Lane” is an uplifting modern romance with just the right amount of eccentric charm. It has a free spirited rom-com energy that feels oh-so-familiar, yet refreshingly different.

By: Louisa Moore

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