Review: Charming ‘Rye Lane’ is a rom-com to celebrate

March 30, 2023 8:50 am

[Source: AP]

Yas and Dom meet-cute in the best possible way in the new rom-com “Rye Lane.”

They’re paired up at a karaoke bar by chance and simply slay, leaving the crowd demanding more and chanting their names. The new couple recognize “an immediate, deep animal attraction.”

No, not really.

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That’s just the made-up story Yas tells Dom’s cheating ex-girlfriend to make her jealous and signal he’s moved on. It works: Even the ex’s new lover calls it “hands-down the greatest hook-up story of all time.”

How these two 20-somethings actually hook up is the subject of this sweet, down-to-earth, funny and thoughtful rom-com that shows two strangers moving though London and visibly falling in love over a matter of hours.

David Jonsson is Dom, the fresh agony of being dumped and cheated on after six years visible on his broken shoulders. Vivian Oparah is Yas, also newly single, but seemingly stronger. He’s a little mousy, an accountant; she’s vivacious, a fledgling fashion designer.

“Apparently there are two kinds of people in this world,” she says. “The ones that wave at boats and the ones who hate joy.” She waves at boats.

Director Raine Allen-Miller makes a stunning full-length debut, keeping the action deeply grounded in South London but also capturing pure flights of fancy, like when a stranger in a cowboy outfit suddenly screams out “Boring!” when Dom reveals he’s an accountant or when Yas recreates a breaking point in her old relationship on a fictional theater stage with a hundred Doms in the audience.