Film review: Love Sarah
PUBLISHED: 10:26 02 July 2020 | UPDATED: 10:26 02 July 2020
A nice film for the nice people who live in London’s middle-class Richard Curtis world but with likeable characters and lashings of innocence, it has a certain charm
Around mid-March, I was looking forward to a relaxing April having gotten all my reviews written up for the next six weeks. I had a clear calendar right up to the release of Black Widow at the start of May. That will teach me to be diligent.
When the shutters came down in a hurry, Love Sarah was one of the first films to miss out on theatrical release. Now, with the equally hasty reopening of cinemas, it has leapt to the front of the queue to be among the first back on the big screen.
Love Sarah is a Nice London film set in that Nice London that usually only Hugh Grant or Richard Curtis have the keys to. It’s about three generations of women coming together to run a nice little bakery after a bereavement. It gets most of that nasty drama stuff out of the way in the opening twenty minutes. After that it trundles happily along, inviting viewers to drool over its cakes and sugary confectionery.
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The cinema embraces every other kind of escapism so why not niceness? Nasty London bleats loudly about its authenticity, strongarming the world that it is the only truth about the metropolitan experience. But Love Sarah seems to me to capture the truth of an equally authentic London, the bubble London. It’s a world full of well-spoken, well-meaning white people who adore everything multicultural but somehow only have white friends; who have terribly busy lives doing next to nothing and whose greatest ambition is to be in a photoshoot for Time Out.
Don’t tell me this isn’t reality – I used to see them everywhere before lockdown.
Nice is difficult to pull off, but Schroeder’s film succeeds because its cast is good company; you don’t mind spending time with them, even though nothing much is happening. Plus, it all seems so very innocent; you should resent their untroubled existence (they have a few money worries at the beginning, soon resolved), but they are all so wide-eyed and harmless it would be like beating a baby seal.
It is a film for remainers, with sex and swearing. Watching Love Sarah is like seeing archive footage of carefree chinless wonders playing cricket on the village green during the endless summer of 1913.
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