Review by Joseph Fayed
She Is Love is a new romantic drama and the latest film to have mostly been improvised without a script for its lead actors. While this style of movie usually has such great chemistry to make up for a loose narrative, it strangely lacks both at different moments, missing whatever potential it had.
The film follows Patricia (Haley Bennett), who checks into a countryside inn that, unbeknownst to her, is managed by her ex-husband Idris (Sam Riley) and his new girlfriend. Despite the awkwardness of the situation for all involved, the two revisit their past and attempt to shape their future.
The film takes place over the course of one weekend at the inn. The film is mainly stylized with a playful tone despite being billed as a drama. This actually produces some of the film's best improvised moments since the drama at its core isn't all that interesting. When Patricia and Idris briefly banter back and forth over age gaps in their relationships, it feels more genuinely acted than the more emotional and tender moments of their reunion.
The film ultimately falls apart when the plot circles back to the old flame at hand. Haley Bennett and Sam Riley interact as if they are old friends at a high school reunion rather than a divorced couple. With what little direction either of them was given, the two seemingly jump from acting friendly towards each other to getting emotional when discussing the tolls of their relationship. It seems very out of place to describe that for just one film that really lacks an emotional climax.
Romantic dramas that aren't reliant on twists and turns need to showcase emotions that illicit romance. Minus the wave of grief the viewers are hit with in the second half, you fail to see what would bring these two exes to spend as much time together as they do. Perhaps it is supposed to play off of how Idris's new girlfriend, a younger and bitchy wannabe actress, isn't the one for him either. You begin to wonder if Idris is the problem here, and there is no solution whatsoever. I don't think this was writer-director Jamie Adams's intention, but this happens when unengaging protagonists act however they want to.
She Is Love won't have you rooting for or against Patricia and Idris reuniting. Instead, it will leave you wondering why they were ever together in the first place.
She Is Love is now in theaters and on VOD.