The script and conversations behind them is the real gem of Juliet, Naked
As far as character tropes, and character creation goes, Juliet, Naked’s team of writers have perfected their creations, bringing to life three personalities with excellent characteristics, seamlessly streaming into their output on screen. Naturally, Ethan Hawke, Chris O’Dowd and Rose Byrne bring these fictional imperfects to life, but the script and conversations behind them is the real gem of Juliet, Naked.
Annie (Rose Byrne) is the curator of a small museum in a quaint English seaside town, beginning to feel trapped in a marriage with Duncan (Chris O’Dowd), a man obsessed with former singer songwriter Tucker Crowe (Ethan Hawke). So when previously unearthed Crowe demos make their way to Duncan, Annie, out of sheer frustration, writes a bad review online, attracting interest from all over the world, including one man both of them thought they would never hear from.
Naturally, a film with such strong romantic undertones relies heavily on its characters to run the story, with little in the way of plot bulking out the action. But as mentioned when discussing Like Father, this is generally glanced over when in search of a quality romantic comedy, with meetings and discussions taking up much of the run time.
But Juliet, Naked runs with its three characters, two vastly different men, one obsessed with the other, and a female lead searching for meaning. This impeccable character creation allows for the unusual characteristics of their personalities to clash and combine in ways many rom-coms would be scared to even attempt to pull off. Though on the surface it doesn’t seem particularly enigmatic, Juliet, Naked is absolutely a film striving to stand out.
The production value is so so and there’s virtually no plot once the first act has ended, but this is a film that throws everything into the wind, styling its characters on very modern tropes with quirky ideas. Its smirk funny and almost universally feel good, offering a wonderful look at the more independent side of British romantic film making.
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