Parents need to know that Rye Lane is a heartwarming British romcom about finding love again, when you least expect it. Dom (David Jonsson) and Yas (Vivian Oparah) have both recently endured messy break-ups, but the film shows there is light at the end of the tunnel and happiness still to be gained. The movie offers a positive, authentic depiction of young people in London, thriving in its reflection of the diverse and multicultural city. Both Dom and Yas are positive Black characters, ambitious and hardworking young professionals. Dom is seen crying, as the film explores his vulnerability and sensitivity, something that remains rare of male characters in cinema. The language is strong and frequent, and includes one use of “c–t,” as well as “f–k,” “bitch,” “s–t,” and more. Non-explicit sexual content includes a character performing oral sex on her boyfriend and an image of a penis on a cellphone. There is a small amount of violence as a man who finds his house broken into hits one of the perpetrators in the face. Characters drink alcohol in social settings and smoke too, but it’s never to excess or glamorized.
What’s the Story?
RYE LANE tells the story of Dom (David Jonsson) and Yas (Vivian Oparah), who meet at a mutual friend’s art exhibition in Peckham, London. Initially bonding over a shared ordeal of having both recently broken up from their long-term relationships, the pair set off on a walk around this vibrant South London neighborhood, getting to know one another, and realizing that perhaps there could be someone else out there, after all.
Is It Any Good?
This British romcom is sure to go down as a modern classic. Rye Lane’s director Raine Allen-Miller has managed to pay homage to the familiar tropes of the romantic comedy genre, yet crafted something that feels new and unique. Influences range from Richard Linklater’s Before trilogy to When Harry Met Sally, with a sprinkling of Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing. But the film stands tall on its own feet, too. Those familiar with the area will relish seeing Peckham in all its glory, filmed with such an affectionate, warm eye. While others will enjoy exploring this vibrant part of London. The movie takes stylistic risks too. The framing and lens used takes a little while to get used to. But this only adds to film’s character. Talking of which, the central characters Dom and Yas — two names that now feel like they’ve belonged together forever — are played superbly by Jonsson and Oparah. The two actors perfectly balance the comedic elements (of which there are many, this is laugh out loud on occasion) with the more poignant elements, straddling that tricky line in triumphant fashion. The way Dom smiles at Yas is everything. This film is everything.