Love So Raw (Film Thoughts: Only You)

only-you-posterValentine’s Week Pick

I have been wanting to see ‘Only You’ for a while now. Someone told me it’s a very romantic movie, and well, you know how I love those. It also stars Josh O’Connor, who I really liked in ‘God’s Own Country.’  And it is set in Glasgow, and the place is photographed beautifully.  The Anglophile in me feasted on all of what I saw. The film starts out as a conventional romance – they meet cute fighting for a cab on New Year’s Eve, and they instantly fall for each other soundtracked by Elvis Costello’s ‘I Want You.’ So far, so good for the hopeful romantics like me. O Connor and Laia Costa have palpable chemistry – they sizzle on screen, and the film feels intimate – you can really sense the characters falling in love with each other. This comes early in the film, and I was trying to ascertain where the conflict will be – will the age differences between the characters really matter? I mean, this is 2020, no one cares about those things anymore.

That’s when the film falters for me. The couple tries to conceive a child and has a difficult time doing so. I started to not care about Costa’s Elena, who started to feel whiny and entitled. O’Connor is fine as the young man who adjusts to her whims, and he is a charismatic actor. But Costa is perhaps too good at conveying her frustration which translates to my frustration. I started to not care about what happens to the couple. I wanted Jake (O’Connor’s character) to wake up and leave Elena.

And when they finally separate, we get the last part of the movie. There’s a scene in a restaurant towards the end that is masterful in conveying in showing what happens to love after it gets to put through all the tests. This is a film that is a lot of times hard to look at, but it feels more real than anything I have seen recently.

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