Current Issue #488

Film Review:
Love Sarah

Director Eliza Schroeder makes her feature début with this melancholy-tinged English character charmer.

The top-billed star, of course, is UK institution Celia Imrie, here doing her sad, slightly pinched routine, and she’s in fine form throughout, despite the film’s weaker moments.

Sarah (Candice Brown) is seen cycling her way to work at a bakery she’s soon to open with bestie Isabella (Shelley Conn), and we’re also introduced to Sarah’s daughter Clarissa (Shannon Tarbet) at a dance class and her Mum Mimi (Imrie), who’s finally writing her a letter of apology after a long estrangement. And, as the scene fades, we learn that Sarah has been killed in an accident.

After a period of grief and uncertainty, Isabella talks her way back into her old job, but Clarissa believes that they should open the patisserie anyway, and also convinces Mimi to help set the place up as one of those cheesy montages kick in and they christen the place ‘Love Sarah’. These three women need another chef though, and he appears in the form of the dubious but supposedly Michelin-starred Matthew (Rupert Penry-Jones), who was once very close with Sarah and might be… well, you can probably guess.

Director Schroeder (who also contributed to the original story and helped produce too) obviously felt she was running out of plot halfway in, and so soon the establishment later begins to cater for London’s multicultural residents by cooking up Latvian, Japanese, Norwegian and many other foreign desserts. And goofy local neighbour Felix (Bill Paterson, another UK institution and the hapless Dad in Fleabag as well) turns up to offers some light comedy and serve as a potential romantic interest for Mimi. Just in case she needed one.

All seriously predictable but amiable enough anyway, this still features some strong playing, even if the somewhat unfamiliar Conn and Tarbet (looking like an English Heather Graham) are stuck with a few too many sentimental speeches, and Penry-Jones’ rogue-with-a-heart-of-gold act tends towards cliché.

Nevertheless, it’s a movie with a guaranteed, built-in audience, and probably works best if you have coffee and a big, gooey cake beforehand. The bigger and gooier the better.

Reviewer Rating

Love Sarah (M) is in cinemas now

DM Bradley

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