- Kaitlyn Dever, Isabela Merced, Sean Teale, Kyle Allen
- Written by
- Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber (screenplay) Rebecca Serle ( novel)
- Directed by
- Karen Maine
- Release Date
- October 14th, 2022
Everyone has heard the story of the two star-crossed lovers that were Romeo and Juliet. Although I have only read the play once in high school. I have on the other hand seen many, and I do many versions of it in movie form. Some more fresh than others, but all had the same tragic ending. One thing that was never mentioned however was an “ex”, or the person who almost prevented one of the greatest love stories from ever being told. Well over 400 years later we finally find out who Juliet beat out for Romeo’s heart, and boy does it change some things.
Rosaline (Kaitlyn Dever) is your typical teenager in the Victorian era, rebellious. She is that age where her father Adrian Capulet (Bradley Whitford) is trying to find someone for her to marry, but wanting to buck the system, she rather marry for love. Little does her father know, but she has already found that love in Romeo (Kyle Allen) , who climbs up to her balcony nightly and recites poetry he has written that really Rosaline has no time for. Although their feelings are strong, they can’t make their love public because of a feud their two families are having. So not knowing about what is going on with Romeo, her father sets her up with Dario (Sean Teale), whose family has offered a cow for Rosaline’s hand. Of course Rosaline has eyes for someone else, but agrees to go on a date with Dario, in which a pleasant boat ride is about to change history. You see while Rosaline is stuck out at sea, Romeo goes to an event that he was to meet Rosaline at and instead meets Juliet (Isbela Merced) instead. We know what happens from here, but Rosaline is not having it and does what she can to weasel her way back into Romeo’s heart, by any means necessary. Needless to say hijinks ensue as Rosaline tries to be the one that Romeo would die for.
Based on the novel When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle, Rosaline is a rather enjoyable revision of this classic love story. Written for the screen by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, who really nail it on the humor front and deliver some lines that you have never hear in any Romeo and Juliet throughout the years before. Humor though is not the only thing that they do well, as they also are good at finding ways to incorporate the original story into a more modern vibe. This of course makes Shakespeare’s work easier to comprehend and more user-friendly towards audiences of today.
Everyone has a story about that ‘ex’ in their life that could have been. For Rosaline, she could have been somebody and today we would all be reading Romeo and Rosaline. Instead we get this story, in which Kaitlyn Deaver is just a delight, as she breathes life into a young woman who is not afraid to speak her mind and who is also hilarious. Rosaline is much better than it should be and is a unexpected warm coming-of-age tale that is also about young love. Most importantly though it is a great “what if…” on the story of Romeo and Juliet that makes you wonder if those two were really made for each other after all.