Hard to connect with characters in this middle-of-the-road movie

Natalie Stendall.

Film reviewer for Mansfield and Ashfield Chads
Natalie Stendall. Film reviewer for Mansfield and Ashfield Chads

The debut feature film from Chris Foggins, Kids In Love, bridges the gap between youthful expectations and adult realities.

This young adult drama is set in a privileged world where gap year travelling and unpaid internships, bank-rolled by mum and dad, are the norm.

It’s the movie’s biggest problem, making it hard to connect with any of the characters on a meaningful level.

About to head off to South America, Jack (Will Poulter) meets Evelyn (Alma Jodorowsky), a bohemian drifter with a hedonistic lifestyle. Quickly giving up the trip with his old friends to take this ‘path less trodden’, Jack resists the conventional adult life he sees his own parents living.

It’s the foundation of classic coming-of-age stories but the conflict between freedom and responsibilities is weighed down by heavy handed dialogue from first time features writers Preston Thompson and Skins star Sebastian De Souza.

Poulter can be relied upon for his charisma, which keeps us watching this middle-of-the road flick, but he’s at his best when playing realistic, determined, tenacious characters.

He was better as the child of a no-parent family in Wild Bill and visceral survival thriller The Revenant.

Kids In Love oozes with pretty, bohemian visuals but it’s hollow escapism.

The sedate pacing is suited to contemplation but the simple message that conventional hard work has its own rewards doesn’t feel quite enough.

What Richard Did offered more originality and depth, and even the daydreamy Paper Towns and Sofia Coppola’s brazen The Bling Ring had something bigger to say on the subject.

2/5