Love, Rosie: Is the 2014 Movie Based on a Book?

Helmed by Christian Ditter in his English-language debut, ‘Love, Rosie’ revolves around two best friends, Rosie Dunne and Alex Stewart. The duo have been best friends from the age of 5 and as they take on new challenges in life, they keep parting ways repeatedly. The two have never given each other a chance for their friendship to blossom into a romance. Through several bad decisions, they gradually realize that they’ve been wrong all this while. It is a wonderful tale of friendship, love, and belonging that’s bound to make one get a few chuckles and shed a tear or two in joy. Starring Lily Collins and Sam Claflin, the events of the 2014 film feel like dramatizations of a reality, which will make many ponder if ‘Love, Rosie’ is really based on a true story.

Love, Rosie is an Adaptation of Cecelia Ahern’s Book

‘Love, Rosie’ is based on a book. Writer Juliette Towhidi adapted the screenplay based on Irish author Cecelia Ahern’s best-selling book ‘Where Rainbows End,’ renowned for ‘PS, I Love You.’ Brought together by the vision of director Christian Ditter, the book follows the lead characters of the same names in an epistolary manner, which refers to a storyline told through the exchange of letters and correspondence between fictional characters.

The narrative has been modified with numerous tweaks while developing the events of the book. In the book, the story is conveyed through letters, emails, and instant messaging. Since the ever-changing relationship between the two main characters, Rosie Dunne and Alex Stewart, couldn’t be portrayed as just correspondence conversations; a good portion of it needed to be fleshed out for the big screen. The friendship between Rosie and Alex is an evergreen one, beginning with an introduction during childhood, and leading up to adolescence and adulthood, just as it is in the book.

The creative team also picked up on the nuances from romantic comedies in the past, with ‘Harry Met Sally’ posing a similar format and presumably being an inspiration for the technique and structure in this film. Ditter also proclaimed in an interview with HeyUGuys, that the 1989 film revolutionized the romantic comedy genre as a whole, bringing inspiration to numerous films that came after. In the same interview, he also revealed that most of the creative decisions that were taken in the film happened through the approval of author Cecelia Ahern.

Hence it’s safe to say that the source material was not harmed. Of course, it was modified but not completely altered, as is the case with many films based on books. The author was in close contact with the director and visited the film set a few times, but was not in the capacity to oversee the creative process, rather she was just a spectator, knowing that her work was in good hands. Ditter also stated that to keep the essence of the novel, they chose to portray scenes from 15 years prior to the events of the film, considering the book is also set in the early 2000s.

Viewers of the film will come across several nostalgic inputs from that era, including the likes of the clothes, the music, to the small Easter eggs like chat messengers present during that time. These were meticulously recreated to portray an illustration reminiscent of that time. Elaborated on the same, the director explained that they aimed to develop a truthful experience of this, one that would take viewers back into the past, which they certainly have in the film. He further added that apart from being excited and fascinated by the technology, mindset, and fashion of the time, which may not have been drastically different from what they had in 2014, the cast and crew were all present during that time.

This, in turn, gave them an angle of retrospect that drove the ambition of recreating the early 2000s. He concluded by stating that a combination of detailed reconstruction and revisiting a truthful experience within his own life helped recreate the setting of the film. Although both the book and feature adaptation require being different, the creative team has stayed true to the source material and has not strayed very far from the bindings of the book. Like the eponymous book, ‘Love, Rosie’ features many elements from the 90s and early 2000s, bringing a hint of nostalgia to everyone watching, along with impeccable performances from the lead actors, to formulate a romantic and comedic tale that’s evergreen.

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