Rye Lane: Movie Review

Rye Lane: Movie Review

Jadyn Hardy, Staff Writer

Rye Lane is a 2023 British romantic comedy-drama film directed by Raine Allen-Miller in her feature directorial debut, or first commercial cinematic release, from a screenplay written by Nathan Bryon and Tom Melia.

Set in the South Britain areas Peckham and Brixton and named after the real-life Rye Lane, this imaginative rom-com follows Dom (played by David Jonsson) and Yas (played by Vivian Oparah) who fatefully meet in a gender-neutral bathroom at a mutual friend’s art exhibit, as Dom reel s from a recent breakup. Similarly, Yas has also recently been on the outs with her ex-boyfriend, a pretentious killjoy artist.

Between strolls through London, breaking and entering, and a dicey cookout, ‘Rye Lane’ is a dream-like film full of charm and heart-thrilling chemistry. It showcases the birth of romance in such an immersive, quirky way. Its almost psychedelic, but filled with heartfelt details that keep this film grounded. While Yas carries the wit of this film, the banter between Dom and Yas is very authentic.

This movie is such a well done modern take on the classic rom-com. It’s imaginative and ambitious from the cinematography to the soundtrack. Featuring some of South-London’s own (Stormzy and Sampha, to name a few) as well as hip-hop throwbacks like “Shoop” by Salt N’ Pepa, the film is embellished in culture.

Both Jonsson and Oparah give standout performances in this film. Jonsson’s character is funny and heartwarming. In the beginning, we meet him as he sobs over his ex lover, and follow him into goofy laughs and hopeful leaps forward throughout the movie. While Oparah’s character, Yas, is less sullen than angry about her past relationship and this pain is manifested through irksome laughs and a strong reluctance to open up. Although Yas’ main narrative isn’t presented with as much poignancy as Dom’s, her more emotional scenes are portrayed with grace which makes her story all the more interesting.

I think what makes this movie as great as it is, beyond its stellar visuals, is the care that director Raine Allen-Miller takes with the individualism of Dom and Yas throughout this film. Their development as people is nurtured on its own instead of being used only to adorn the eventual romantic union. Yas and Dom both exist beyond their love for one another, not just in conjunction with it.

This is what sets this film apart from the others in its genre.

This movie is by far one of my favorites so far this year. It’s a gorgeous movie, effortlessly innovating while staying true to the timeless rom-com formula.

This movie was such a fever dream. It’s hazy, yet grounded and it’s so enjoyable.I give this movie an 8.9 out of 10 and recommend everyone watch it at least once.

Rye Lane is now streaming only on Hulu.