REVIEW: Juliet Naked is a film to warm the heart

Staring Rose Byrne and Ethan Hawke, this charming romcom based on the novel by Nick Hornby tells the tale of a British woman’s unlikely long distance romance with a jaded American rock star.

Co-staring Chris O’Dowd as Duncan, an obsessive fan of obscure American singer-songwriter Tucker Crowe (Hawke) who is sent a copy of Juliet Naked an extremely rare demo album by his favourite artist.

Following an argument about the album’s merits, his long suffering girlfriend Annie (Byrne) posts an angry negative review to Duncan’s online fan forum and gets an unexpected reply from the reclusive Crowe himself.

Directed by Jesse Peretz, what follows is an amusing romantic drama with legitimately great performances from its lead cast.

The film’s premise, which sees the elusive rocker emerge from the shadows in search of love, is not entirely original, but the chemistry between Hawke and Byrne give the story such a fresh feel.

Hawke is perfectly cast as Crowe, the once revered, but now disillusioned singer, still living off the spoils of his one hit album and struggling to connect with his many children.

O’Dowd is also excellent and provides many of the film’s funniest moments as his pretentious university professor cum fanboy gradually discovers the truth about his musical hero.

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Supports comes from Lily Brazier, who stars as Annie’s more confident sister and is hilarious in her few scenes. However it is Byrne’s performance that acts as the film’s heart. She is endearing throughout as the jaded Annie, living an unfulfilled existence and regularly playing second fiddle for her boyfriend’s affections.

The film’s sharply written script avoids too many romcom cliches and the British seaside setting also adds to the film’s charm.

Juliet Naked is a heart warming tale about obsessive fan culture and romantic second chances, which expertly showcases the talents of its three lead actors.

A film that will leave you with a warm feeling inside despite the cold wintery conditions.