Jackie & Ryan (aka Love Me Like You Do) movie review: in the moment

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Jackie and Ryan green light

A romance of a gentle, bittersweet, grownup variety that doesn’t pretend that every connection has to be a grand, sweeping, happily-ever-after thing.
I’m “biast” (pro): love Ben Barnes…

I’m “biast” (con): …but haven’t been a fan of Katherine Heigl

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

Ryan (Ben Barnes: Seventh Son) is a modern-day traveling hobo-slash-musician. (It might sound unlikely, but it works for him… and for the film.) Jackie (Katherine Heigl: New Year’s Eve) is a former country-music star going through a rough divorce. They do not fall in love. Or, well, maybe they do, a little bit, but that isn’t the point of the beautifully sketched friendship-plus that develops between them after a chance meeting throws them together in a way they both almost walk away from. The point is how they help each other find new depths in themselves and new paths for their lives. If Jackie & Ryan (aka Love Me Like You Do in the U.K.) is a romance, it is of a gentle, bittersweet, grownup variety that doesn’t pretend that every connection has to be a grand, sweeping, happily-ever-after thing but just might be what you need right now. The second feature from writer and director Ami Canaan Mann, this is a lovely little film, rough around the edges with pain and regret of roads taken and not taken yet buoyed with hope for a better tomorrow, though even that is not certain. It’s also got some damn good folky-country music performed by Barnes and Heigl. It’s great to see her playing an authentic woman for once, instead of a rom-com cartoon; and it’s great to see him in a role that takes advantage of his musical talent.


See also my #WhereAreTheWomen rating of Jackie & Ryan for its representation of girls and women.

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RogerBW
RogerBW
Sun, Jul 12, 2015 10:24pm

Because romances don’t have to be just He Meets Her, He Loses Her, They Get Together (or the other way round).

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  RogerBW
Mon, Jul 13, 2015 9:34pm

Exactly.