Rye Lane a fun and captivating look at romance

Breakups are awful. From the early going in the new romantic comedy Rye Lane, which debuts on Hulu March 31 after premiering at the Sundance Film Festival in January, we understand our leads are struggling with that very issue. In fact, we first meet our heroes in the bathroom.

Dom (David Jonsson) is out at an art show, supporting a friend, but he’s still not over his breakup. So, he’s having himself a cry in a bathroom stall. It turns out to be a unisex bathroom, which leads Yas (Vivan Oparah) into the same space. She can identify and soon, she and Dom connect.

After leaving the show, they spend some time getting to know each other. Eventually, Yas helps Dom out when he has to confront his ex, and the friend with whom she cheated. That only deepens the bond, as they go on a series of adventures. Their attraction and chemistry is undeniable but can these two wounded souls find a way to make it work? That’s what this journey is all about.

Romantic comedies generally follow a formula. You have a meet-cute, the relationship builds, you find a moment of tension and then get the happy ending. It doesn’t always happen exactly that way, but that’s mostly what you expect. People don’t turn to these films for the surprises in the plot, but rather for the journey they go on with the protagonists.

From that standpoint, Rye Lane is a hit. I enjoyed the script from Nathan Bryon and Tom Melia, and in the hands of director Raine Allen-Miller, making her feature debut, we get something magical. I enjoyed the shots and the color palette here, but I also enjoyed the way the humor was played out.

It also works well because of the stars. Jonsson and Oparah are great in these lead roles. Their chemistry is strong and they create some beautiful and rich scenes together. We get the typical formula here but the journey and the personalities make it a rich experience. I enjoyed the ride here and this is my favorite new film of the year so far.

Rye Lane streams on Hulu beginning Friday, March 31.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. He is a member of the FSWA. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast.


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