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  • Writer's pictureAlex First

One True Loves (PG) - 100 minutes

Think old fashioned, free to air, midday movie or a Mills and Boon romance novel and your head is in the right space to contemplate One True Loves.

 

Since school days, Sam has been into Emma, but Emma always had the hots for swimming champion Jesse.

 

As it turned out, Jesse swept Emma off her feet. They fell deeply in love, travelled the world together and got married.

 

There is your happily ever after. Well … not quite.

 

Work sees Jesse (Luke Bracey) head off to Alaska alone, promising to celebrate their wedding anniversary when he returns home.

 

Instead, Emma (Phillipa Soo) gets a dreadful phone call to say the Jesse is missing, presumed dead, after a helicopter crash in the Pacific ocean.

 

Emma is totally lost – bereft of what to do next.

 

So it is that her older sister Marie (Michaela Conlin) sweeps her up and brings her back to their small, picturesque hometown in Massachusetts.

 

It is there that Marie and their parents operate a book store, something Emma never wanted to be a part of.

 

But now things are different. The combination of the local environment and the familiarity of the bookshop brings Emma a level of solace.

 

And then, unexpectedly, Emma bumps into Sam (Simu Liu) again. He is now the high school music teacher.

A spark ignites and, in time, the pair is engaged to be married.

 

Thereafter, Emma receives a call that rocks everyone’s socks.

 

Four years after he disappeared, Jesse has been found on a deserted island.

 

Suddenly, Emma must try to navigate what the future looks like loving two men, with those feelings reciprocated by each of them.

 

Awkward!

One True Loves has been written by Taylor Jenkins Reid and her husband, Alex Jenkins Reid, based on the former’s book of the same name.

 

Both writers have television backgrounds and it shows.

 

In fact, the movie looks like it has been written for TV.


It is schmaltzy, features a bunch of good looking, nice people and feels heavily manufactured, or put on, to solicit audience sympathy.

 

Given those restraints, obtaining performances that had a ring of truth about them was always going to be a challenge.

 

Mind you, I did like the moral quandary that was established and opened itself up to being explored further.

 

So, too, the setting. The scenery is beautiful, which cinematographer Greg Gardiner has captured well.

 

Directed by Andy Fickman, One True Loves plays it safe and by the book.

 

Rated PG, it scores a 5½ out of 10.

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