Sweeter and more charming than it perhaps promises.
Adapted from the Nick Hornby novel, Juliet, Naked is pretty much the author’s earlier novel, High Fidelity, told from the perspective not of the pop music-obsessed, emotionally stunted man-child, but of his long-suffering girlfriend – one who does not share her partner’s unabashed fandom, in this case of a washed-up ’90s alternative rock star, with whom she happens to connect after posting a negative review of an uncovered album of his demos.
This film, and everyone in it, is more charming than perhaps promised on paper. It’s a small, sweet story, and, if you’re a 40-odd-year-old pop culture nutter, occasionally-embarrassingly-close-to-home funny.
The one moment which gives away that the acting and direction is more confident than the script is the opening monologue, where Annie (Rose Byrne) explains the rut in which she’s found herself, in both her love life, and her life in general. The charismatic trio of leads – Byrne, Ethan Hawke and Chris O’Dowd – is more than capable of conveying all of this, and Jesse Peretz‘s direction allows them moments to show this and ensures the camera is there to catch every one of those moments.
Juliet, Naked is a genuinely enjoyable rom-com – which is as huge a feat as the film is understated and lovely.