Annie (Rose Byrne) is stuck. She moved home to a small, seaside town to care for her father and fell into a job, a relationship and a life that she’s not altogether happy with. Her partner Duncan (Chris O’Dowd) is a uni lecturer who has a total obsession with musician Tucker Crowe (Ethan Hawke) who disappeared from public view decades ago. Dale spends his spare time online making videos, participating in online debates and forums – it is a true obsession. When Rose accidentally finds herself exchanging emails with Tucker without Duncan’s knowledge, things get complicated.
This is a really fun film. It’s written by Nick Hornby and is very much a Hornby fest – obsessed man, suffering and selfless girlfriend, whacky mate (in this case, Annie’s sister) and some decent laughs. If you’re not such a fan of romantic comedies, this probably isn’t for you. For me, the best thing in the film was Ethan Hawke’s performance – while he was mostly vague and fun, the glimpses of vulnerability were somewhat unexpected. However, I didn’t really like the romance of this film, which is a bit of a problem in a romantic comedy. I wanted more for Annie. I felt like she had fallen into one relationship and then kind of fell into another, and she was feeling dissatisfied and lost in her life but oh, thank goodness there is another man to fix her situation. A man who has a very poor track record for the way he has treated (and continues to treat) the women in his life. Yes, he is vulnerable, but he’s still a bit of a dick.