Rye Lane: The New Rom-Com From The Director ‘Allergic’ To Rom-Coms – All About Finding Love On The Streets Of Peckham | News of Arts and Entities

In Pretty Woman, Vivian wanted the fairy tale. When Edward climbed up the fire escape to rescue her, and she immediately rescued him, everyone was happy with the happy ending.

Back in 1990, when the movie was released, rom-coms created some pretty unrealistic expectations for falling (and staying) in love.

They often tried to bring together two people from different backgrounds: Goldie Hawn’s heiress and Kurt Russell’s carpenter in Overboard; Jennifer Lopez’s hotel maid and Ralph Fiennes’ politician in Maid In Manhattan; and, of course, from Julia Roberts’ sex worker to Richard Gere’s wealthy businessman, to name just a few.

The Fairy Tale: Julia Roberts and Richard Gere in Pretty Woman

This was the peak era of romantic comedies. After the huge success of When Harry Met Sally, the genre reached its height in the 1990s and 2000s; from Sleepless In Seattle, My Best Friend’s Wedding and How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days, to British numbers like Four Weddings And A Funeral, Notting Hill and Love, Actually: a great romantic comedy meant money at the box office.

But as perceptions of fairy tale endings began to shift and expectations for more diverse stories on screen grew, the movie landscape shifted toward superheroes and franchises, and romantic comedies fell out of style.

After a hiatus, we’re experiencing something of a renaissance as the genre embraces the realities of modern romance.

Some are cheesier and more unlikely than ever (see Jennifer Lopez(the superstar singer teams up with Owen Wilson’s maestro in Marry Me), but there are plenty that stray from the old tropes, like The Big Sick, Bros, and Crazy Rich Asians, and comedies about platonic love like Bridesmaids, Girls Trip and Booksmart.

Rye Lane, Raine Allen-Miller’s new debut feature, is another. Set in Peckham, South London, 20-something Yas, an aspiring fashion designer, and Dom, an accountant, are getting over their breakups, and the film follows them as they connect through an eventful day. It’s a romantic comedy, yes, but about two average people and the everyday encounters that bring them closer.

And it all starts in a public bathroom.

“I find the word ‘rom-com’ so corny,” Allen-Miller tells Sky News. “I was a bit allergic to him from the beginning. [This] I was trying to make a movie that was romantic and fun, but not necessarily in the world of rom-coms that we know.” Although, he admits, “there are some really good ones.”

Turning romantic comedy into critically acclaimed cinema and channeling Peep Show

Rye Lane Principal Raine Allen-Miller.  Photo: Reflector Images
Director Raine Allen-Miller. Photo: Reflector Images

All movie genres should evolve, he says, but the romantic comedy is particularly guilty of being formulaic. “It doesn’t really branch out to be mainstream or ‘critically acclaimed’ cinema. You don’t think of that when you think of a romantic comedy, you think of something that you just enjoy.”

Allen-Miller is a new filmmaker looking to change that. Shot with wide-angle lenses that produce an almost fish-eye effect in some scenes, Rye Lane is dreamy and cartoonish, but at the same time very rooted in reality; a world filled with bold colors where the periphery is part of the action, giving a glimpse of the hustle and bustle of an area once best known as the home of Del Boy.

“It was very important to me to portray it in a way that felt fresh and not downbeat,” she says. “It’s about a good day in South London. It’s very important to highlight that, that it’s a good day. It’s not always a good day, but it’s about a good day. And that was my inspiration.”

Allen-Miller was also inspired by greats like Martin Scorsese and skewer reads, as well as one of your favorite British comedy shows. “The close-ups were definitely inspired by that… I have to praise Peep Show and say it was a great reference.”

‘Richard Curtis is one of the GOATs’

David Jonsson and Vivian Oparah in Rye Lane.  Photo: Reflector Images
Photo: Reflector Images

While the pairing of Yas and Dom may follow a rom-com cliché of pairing the quiet introvert with the confident, outgoing extrovert, Along Came Polly is not; their chemistry is completely believable.

Vivian Oparah, who plays Yas, says she found her character strange but endearing. “We were hoping to do something a little weird because the script was a little off,” she says. “The characters weren’t your typical rom-com characters either; Yas breaks all the conventions of a woman in rom-coms.”

“Just like Dom,” says David Jonsson, who plays him. “You know, he rides in the back of his moped.”

That’s not to say the actor isn’t a fan of something more formulaic; he describes British filmmaker Richard Curtis as “one of the GOATs” (the greatest of all time). “I watch Love, Actually, Notting Hill, Bridget Jones, every Christmas. What I love about this movie is that it takes that great romantic comedy genre and breaks it up a bit.”

Click to subscribe to Backstage wherever you get your podcasts

A nod to rom-com royalty

For fans of the Curtis classics, there’s even a cameo from a genre veteran (no spoilers here). “It was very important to include that and I’m very happy that he agreed to do it,” says Allen-Miller, who wrote to the star to pitch his idea. “I can’t speak for him, but the letter went something like, ‘I’m doing a romantic comedy and it’s very different from what you’re doing and I wanted to make that clear in some way. in a slightly cheeky way’. And he was on board.”

Both Londoners, the film’s two main stars are pleased with the way it portrays this corner of the city. “Sometimes there’s only beauty in the normality of everyday life, the mundane things in life,” says Oparah. It feels real, Jonsson agrees. “That’s the Nour Cash & Carry, that’s the hairdresser; real children screaming in the street, without planning it. I think it’s like the truth of London.”

Rye Lane has received good reviews, from Peckham himself to Hollywood: The Hollywood Reporter describes it as “colorfully clever and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny,” but more importantly it’s a movie “that manages to make an old story feel new.” “.

Writing for the Evening Standard, Peckham local Liz Hoggard calls it “a proud moment” and celebrates seeing a south London film that doesn’t deal with gang violence, while The Telegraph’s film critic , Robbie Collin, praises her for nailing the “rumble and bustle” of Peckham. “and hitting the box, unlike Curtis’ Notting Hill.

Allen-Miller says that, above all else, she hopes the film will make people happy. “I know it sounds very basic, but it’s a time when we need it.

“I guess I would also love for people who grew up in South London or similar backgrounds to me to also feel that I did them right and represented their home. But that’s just a small percentage of the world. I think the rest of the Everyone should feel happy and like they learned something new and got lost at the movies for a while.

Rye Lane is now in UK cinemas

Leave a Comment