It’s a tale as old as time. The classic Shakespeare love story, “Romeo & Juliet”, has been told on many occasions, but in this Hulu/Star Original film, we see the story from the perspective of Juliet’s cousin Rosaline, who is played by Kaitlyn Dever.
Just before Romeo falls in love with Juliet at a masquerade ball, he’s been wooing Rosaline, who doesn’t take too kindly to Romeo, ignoring her letters and comes up with multiple schemes to try to win back her guy.
The first part of the film is focused on Rosaline and Romeo’s relationship, all of which is pretty generic and, I’ll be honest, wasn’t that entertaining, since it follows the typical Shakespeare-style love story and did drag a little, to begin with. It is only when we see Rosaline discovering Romeo and Juliet together, that things start to get a little more interesting, and the film starts to find itself.
As the nasty side of Rosaline starts to come out, as she plots to win back Romeo, which makes up the central portion of the movie. Rosaline is a woman scorned and will do anything for the man she loves, but along the way, she meets another suitor, who brings out the better side of her. This is where the film really kicks up a gear and finds its feet.
The film’s final act is about turning the classic story of Romeo and Juliet, on its head, as Rosaline comes to terms with the love between her cousin and former flame.
“Rosaline” is a strange take on the classic story, because it’s twisted from a different angle. Romeo nor Juliet really come across as that interesting, especially Romeo, as they even make fun of this during a post-credit scene (yes, even Shakespeare is doing Marvel-like post-credit scenes now).
This film does have a slight issue, it’s set up like a classic film, with how it looks and feels, but it has a modern twist, that doesn’t quite fit. For example, the postal worker is basically a stereotypical stoner, and Rosaline has a gay best friend, which they play around with for some jokes, but again, it’s all very stereotypical stuff. . And its also a little odd having random accents during the film, which once again, just breaks the tone. I did, however, like how the film brings in some modern songs, with an old-fashioned vibe, which I think did work well.
The other big thing about this film is that Rosaline is portrayed as a strong female, with a snarky side. She won’t be silenced. She knows what she wants, and feels like what would happen if you took a girl from today and popped her back in time, 500+ years, in that just being told what to do, who to marry and just sit there, be quiet etc.
For most of the film, the old fashion meets modern tone works, but it can also be a little jarring to have something set hundreds of years ago, but occasionally feels out of place. I get the creators will want a younger audience to connect with the film and that they might not relate to the situation, but sometimes it feels a little forced.
Overall, “Rosaline” is a solid romantic comedy. Kaitlyn Dever plays the part wonderfully, she’s a character you don’t like for most of the film, but she slowly wins you around as she softens. She’s witty, snarky, sarcastic, but most of all, relatable. The love story is pretty predictable, but enjoyable nonetheless. I do have a few issues with some of the decisions to try to make some of the characters more modern, as it just felt a little forced and unnecessary. But generally, it’s an easy-going romantic comedy, its refreshing take on a classic tale is fun to watch. It’s a perfect film for streaming.
Rating – 3.5 Out Of 5
“Rosaline” is coming out on Friday 14th October, 2022, on Hulu in the US, Star+ in Latin America and on Disney+ around the world.
Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom.